Wearing a mask shows concern for others
Letter to the Editor
Having read at least two letters published in recent issues complaining about the wearing of masks during services at Catholic Churches (mainly Mass) I thought they should be balanced by the following thoughts about this issue.
When asked by a disciple which of the commandments was the most important Jesus’ reply included “Love your God with your whole heart and your whole soul . . .” and then:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” The latter demands me to consider my neighbor’s wellbeing, health and feelings. In this context, I wear a mask in public since I don’t want to infect anyone with Covid-19 on the off chance that I may be asymptomatic. My mask provides some protection for them from my possible infection.
For a similar reason, I avoid crowds when I have a bad cold with a runny nose, sneezing, etc., because I don’t want to adversely affect the health of anyone I come in contact with — in church, movie theater, market or local store. In our present crisis with a virus, I also wear a mask to show my sympathy and concern for those who have been adversely affected by Covid-19 either by isolation, hospitalization or death.
It is somewhat similar to the times when I make the sign of the cross to show some connection to someone under stress. To me wearing a mask is like wearing decent clothes and being acceptably clean when I go out in public (including attendance at Mass).
Having said all that, perhaps the main reason I wear a mask is because I choose to believe in the advice and counsel of a continuing parade of well-known health professionals, including one who has a bona fide medical degree, is Jesuit trained and the head of an internationally highly regarded infectious disease laboratory — rather than in the impulsive rantings of a medically untrained person who has often publicly stated that he does not wear a mask because it “does not look good.” Until Covid-19 is controlled by vaccine or sensible practices, please wear a mask.