Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

I HATE being sick. All my life, I’ve been blessed with good health, and I thank God for that everyday. Colds, flu, one bout with strep, and the occasional day of malaise has been the extent of it. Back in the day, I went through the usual childhood diseases of chicken pox and measles. Never having had the mumps, I got an MMR shot when I was 62 when mumps were running rampant on college campuses around here. My PA said it was a good idea.

Now we’re facing COVID-19, a virus some say doesn’t exist, some are terrified of, some have politicized, and some don’t know what to think. Whatever you think of it, I hope you’re doing what you need to do to stay well. I am. Did I tell you, I hate being sick? Because of that, I’m going to do what I need to to stay healthy, including staying home as much as I can and wearing a mask when I get out.

Hubby and I wear masks when outside. Experts say you can have the virus and spread it without having any symptoms. That’s scary! Neither of us wants to infect anyone. Knowing I caused sickness in someone else would be hard to bear. That’s what our masks do: keeps others from being infected by Hubby or me. Wearing them doesn’t protect us the virus, although it affords a little protection. It mostly protects others from us. It’s the least we can do. However, I must admit, it feels funny going in a store with a mask on, but so far, no one has mistaken us for robbers.

On the rare occasions that we go to a store, some store employees are obviously stressed and uncomfortable, especially with those refusing to wear masks. The employees are stuck between making a living to support their families and staying healthy during a pandemic. They’re stuck between bringing home the proverbial bacon and possibly bringing home a contagion that could make them deathly sick. My heart goes out to them with this dilemmas.

Many people seem to relax when they see our masks. That’s what wearing masks is about: helping others and easing their minds that we’re trying to be considerate of them. Isn’t that what the verse in Philippians is telling us to do? That’s not too much to ask.

Whether you wear a mask outside your home or refuse to do so, at least respect those who think differently than you. What is called bullying in school is called shaming in adulthood, and it’s very prevalent in these trying times. The battle line is between the virus and humans, and shouldn’t be humans.

Be kind and be considerate. Respect each other’s space and feelings. Don’t make fun of others because they don’t agree with your point of view. And most of all, wash your hands a lot to stay healthy and wear a mask to protect us from you. Like I said, I hate being sick.

…having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous… I Peter 3:8

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