In a country so deep into the COVID-19 pandemic, what does the mask symbolize?

For some, it symbolizes conformity. Giving in. Brainwashing, even. 

But for others, it symbolizes respect. Protection. Common courtesy. Unity. 

No matter your beliefs on what the COVID face mask exudes, one thing is for certain: the debate over these face coverings is cause for a massive rift within the American people. It is detrimental to what little connection Americans have in the midst of a dividing period. 

In the United States, the lack of endorsement and mandates for the masks has resulted in a refusal of masks becoming a form of “patriotism.”

And so, why is denying the health and safety of others deemed as protecting one’s country? 

Truth is, it is not. 

By not wearing your mask, you are subjecting yourself and other individuals to a virus that is rampaging our country, taking out citizen by citizen. 

By not wearing your mask, you are teaching the next generation that refusing to follow the rules is okay. 

By not wearing a mask, you are blatantly undermining the fatalities of the COVID pandemic, completely disrespecting those whose lives have been lost. 

By not wearing a mask, you are diminishing the work of each and every front line healthcare worker that has risked their life battling the COVID pandemic within the United States. 

So make a change. Make wearing a mask a symbol of protecting one’s country. Make wearing a mask patriotic. 

Wear your mask to show you love your country. 

Wear your mask to display how you will go to any measure to protect your country. 

Wear your mask to show gratitude for those that have risked their lives to help save the lives of others. 

Wear your mask to respect those that have lost their lives to the deadly pandemic. 

Your mask does not deem you weak or a pushover, your mask displays your strength and pride in a time where all the world truly needs in some connection and unity. 

By wearing your mask, you are part of the unification of our world in a time where connection that isn’t over Zoom or a phone call is hard to come by. 

And we thank you for all that you do to protect our country and piece it back together after the countless tragedies it has suffered since March. 

Photo Credit: The San Diego Union Tribune

Written by

Hannah Williamson

Hannah Williamson, junior, has enjoyed reading and writing for as long as she can remember. She is excited to be able to further her abilities through the publication. In her free time, she enjoys playing softball with her teammates and spending time with her family. Hannah’s favorite book is John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.