When I was a little girl, my father taught me the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The message I got was that I need to treat others with the care and consideration that I want and that I have a responsibility to act in ways that take into account the well-being of others.

And that’s why we need to wear face coverings during this pandemic.

Wearing a face covering doesn’t protect me that much (although it’s better than nothing). But if I wear one, it protects you. If you wear one, it protects me. And if we both wear one, the virus is much less likely to infect either of us.

When we wear masks, we are protecting people like my friends Michelle and Owen, both of whom have cancer. They can’t go out at all — they are prisoners of this pandemic. But their spouses have to go shopping. The masks we wear reduce the chance that they will catch it and bring the virus home. That may be what keeps Michelle and Owen alive.

My friend Eric works in a grocery store. He wears a mask to protect us, his customers. If even some shoppers don’t, he will be exposed throughout the day, increasing his risk of getting infected. He’s performing an essential job, so we can get food. We owe it to him to reduce his risk. And we need him and others keeping those grocery stores going!

So instead of being angry about having to wear a mask, feel good as you think about how you are practicing the Golden Rule and caring for others.


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