By: Emily Matthews
“Can you put your mask on?”
As I heard the words come out of my eleven year old daughter’s mouth, my face blanched. I’ve seen enough news stories of late to have a bad feeling about the outcome of this confrontation my daughter just enacted in the middle of the grocery store.
“Excuse me?” The woman’s eyes met mine, a look of surprise and aggravation easily noticeable on her uncovered face.
“Can you pull up your mask? My brother is diabetic and is more susceptible to the virus than others,” Sarah continued on, absolutely unperturbed about the shock on my face and the utter humiliation on her brother’s. I’m pretty sure that Brett wanted to sink in a hole and disappear at that moment.
I held my breath waiting for the woman to rage against my daughter about her right to not wear a mask or telling us that we shouldn’t be at the store then.
However, to my shock, she pulled up her mask and thanked my daughter for the reminder, told my son to take care of himself, and quickly hurried down the aisle away from us.
I’m not saying that you should go out and tell people to put on their masks every time you see someone without one; in fact, Sarah and I had a chat about not doing that as it could have turned out very differently. But I am offering the reminder that we should all be teaching our children to care about others wellbeing and not just our own comfort. Sure masks are uncomfortable and a nuisance, but if they keep even one person healthy and safe, then aren’t they worth it?
I wear a mask for my husband and son who both have type 2 diabetes. I wear a mask for the elderly. I wear a mask for you.
Can you put your mask on?