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Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

Perspective: To Mask Or Not To Mask

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Alin Luna
/
Unsplash

Of all the things that make life difficult, masking falls to the bottom of my list. As a medically compromised person, I have been masking for ten years. Masking is a simple thing I do to stay safe.

Masking has its benefits. When the train was crowded, no one would sit next to me. If someone even looked at the empty seat, all I had to do was cough -- that sent them in the other direction.

Even though I am vaccinated and hang out with family and friends who are vaccinated, I still mask. The idea of being sick is unacceptable to me. The days I spend in the hospital are never pleasant.

Of course, the argument rages and we wallow in the divide of "I don’t have to, you can’t make me." This is the ego speaking, which demands its right to be right all the time.

I offer this thought from an unknown source, “Ego kills altruism. The minute the work becomes about ‘us’, the work loses its heart.” Maybe that’s what really troubles my spirit: the unwillingness to be my brother/sister's keeper. Maybe my heart hurts because we are not in this together and my belief that we all get to other side of this virus stronger and better for the experience is only wishful thinking.

Truly, if I am my neighbor's keeper, what will I do to assure their well-being?

What are you willing to do to protect your neighbor?

It’s a simple question, really – I mean, folks I’m just asking.

I’m Lou Ness and that's just my perspective