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  • Writer's pictureSara Romero

Will you wear a mask for me?

Today is July 4th. It is also the 110th day of quarantine for those of us who live in the West. As the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise, so do tempers and impatience. It’s easy to feel upset about Governor Newsom’s new mandate in California which requires everyone to wear a mask in public places (when social distancing isn’t possible). It’s easy to feel as though your rights are being taken away. It’s easy to find something to feel enraged about. But what if we all paused for a moment, turned off the sensationalist news broadcasts, listened to experts and got educated on the facts? What if we stopped making mask-wearing a political issue and started listening to families who’ve lost a loved one to the coronavirus? What if we practiced empathy for our fellow humans?

If we did that we could slow the spread, save lives and get back to living ours more quickly.

I will wear a mask for you.

I wear a mask as a sign of respect to anyone I may cross paths with as we navigate these strange times. I wear a mask to protect anyone outside my social bubble: family, friends, neighbors and community. Is it more difficult to breathe? Sure. But if it means protecting your family and mine, it’s a minor inconvenience I’ll gladly choose over and over again.

Wearing a mask doesn’t make me weak, it makes me a responsible human. We need united action to significantly slow the spread of a virus that—in four months—has killed more Americans than the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars did over 70 years.

Our pale blue dot

Tonight I indulged in some TV time and sofa snuggles with my kids. We watched National Geographic’s One Strange Rock (highly recommend) and it reminded me of Carl Sagan’s 1994 Pale Blue Dot speech. It’s an exceptional read and well worth your time. In fact, I think it should be required reading for humans.

Can you find our home in the image below? It's there but you have to look closely. It is but "a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."

Pale Blue Dot Image
Image credit: NASA/JPL

At the end of his speech he says, “To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”

Now more than ever, as many states are experiencing the highest record in daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we must set our differences aside. We must take better care of each other. We must do the things that make us scared and uncomfortable, because we are all in this together—and we are all we have.

I will wear a mask for you.

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