ON A PERSONAL NOTE/By Maramis
Remember the good ol’ days when we would be invited to a masquerade party and we’d be expected to show up wearing a mask? Or when we would dress up in our funnest or scariest costume for Halloween and go door to door asking for treats — and warning that if we didn’t get any,
they may have to accept any trick we would play on them? It was the old “trick or treat” request/threat that many children used only on
Halloween night, which even before the Great Pandemic was being phased out and being replaced with home parties and one or another confined area outdoor fun events for the Halloween funsters who didn’t want to give up the only night of official Halloween fun.
Somehow, after all this time of needing to wear masks because of the mandates to do so — even at home, in some cases, in stores, and in any
places that were even open to go into, wearing said mask was no longer fun. Oh sure, there were plenty of designs to choose from, and allowed
us to express ourselves in many different ways, but never were they fun masks, like the kind we wore on Halloween, or to a masquerade party. They were mandated.
Being forced to wear those face coverings never felt good, never felt right. And I don’t care what any doctor, or anybody has to say about wearing those masks, they are not comfortable and it is not all that easy to breathe with them on. And they are annoyingly hot on the face.
Even during peak mask-wearing time, I’d see many people pull them down to expose their nose, just like I would, making it easier to breathe.
Yet I’d also see people who wore their masks when they were in their cars, driving, and all alone. Who were they protecting alone in the car? Who were they protecting themselves from? And the same goes for those who wore their masks when walking alone outside.
And we were all required to be sure any two-year-old or older child that might be with us would also be wearing their mask. One can only imagine how those little children must have felt, getting a mask put on over their little noses and little mouths. Yet that was the rule, the mandate, and no one could enter the stores or other places that followed the mandate without one; and they usually had the sign on their doors to remind us, one and all, that we needed that mask or we would not be let in.
With all the things parents have to teach their growing children, imagine what it must be like for them to have to add this new thing onto the list. All the other things will be useful and help the child grow wiser as they get older, but wearing the face mask will only confuse them.
I don’t wish to go back in time and be a young mother again. Raising children is no easy job, and these days, it must be especially difficult. There’s so much more that parents have to teach and explain to children. And it’s not just about those face masks; in today’s world we have to teach them about racism and all the ways that what we say and do can be interpreted as racist, no matter what we mean or meant. It’s hard enough for adults to understand why they’re being accused of being racist when they know darn well that they are not. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday a person would rather die than accept a heart transplant from a person of that other race. That seems to be the depth to where race hatred is going.
This is the week that we are now allowed — at least mainly — to go maskless, or mask-free, once again. We are starting to be able to go back a little to what we used to call normal. We can’t be sure that we’ll keep going in that direction, but we can cross our fingers and hope for the best. So if the numbers don’t start going up again and the economy keeps getting better we may finally be on the right road to return to pre-COVID times.
And that is good. Now if we can only get past this “racism: business, thinking that this is some kind of a racist country at its core and accusing everyone everywhere of being racist to show that they were right in having that belief. Even accusing statues, books, names of sports teams and more of being racist and needing to tear them down, cancel them, change them, and so forth to accommodate those who have been offended.
While it’s perfectly true that some things were written in another time, or were named in another time, and those times were different from today — we can call all that our history; and while we may have learned more and would not say things the same way now, it is best to learn from our past and keep going forward, but only if we don’t destroy our past. Perhaps years from now how we write or say things today will be criticized and those who have loved and enjoyed today’s way of expressing things will have to get bent out of shape when that happens.
Hopefully what we continue learning will make us a better country, but not if we destroy our past. Even those face masks will become part of
our history, and someday we may pull them out of our trunk to show our grandchildren and say, “Can you imagine our needing to wear these
everywhere we went,” and then tell them the rest of the story.
We are incomplete without our stories!
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email
her at firstname.lastname@example.org.