To mask or de-mask? That is the question. October is here and as I sit and ponder, I wonder how many children are actually excited about the idea of putting on any kind of mask for Halloween this year. Many, I’m sure, are just as tired of wearing a mask daily as are their adult counterparts. They may be asking questions like, “Do I have to wear a surgical mask on top of my mummy wrapped head or my green warted witch nose, or my werewolf’s sharp teeth?” “How am I supposed to look like Dracula if this mask hides my fangs?” Maybe they’re making bold statements like, “Mommy, princesses wear tiaras, not surgical masks!” “Pirates don’t wear surgical masks, they wear eyepatches!” Let’s face it…COVID-19 will steal the one night of the year that children get to explore a make-believe world by wearing a costume of their choosing, because this year, they will have to “accessorize” it with a surgical mask.
By this time of the year, I know many of us were praying that we would be on a road to recovery and resto- ration of the normalcy of life. Gabe, my mom and I, took off at the end of September for a 17 day road trip looking to restore some normalcy. We drove through Vermont, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virgin- ia, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. All in all, we traveled 4,384 miles. Along the way, we made sure to take the road less traveled, avoiding major highways and toll roads. We covered lots of territory, enjoyed our country’s beautiful scenic byways, visited with family and friends, enjoyed stopping at historical places and tasted a few liba- tions at a few bourbon distilleries.
Overall, we had a great time! The only bump in the road was having to wear a facial mask everywhere we went in public. We sanitized our hands several times each day. We even made sure we did our part to practice social distancing by staying in cabins at KOA campgrounds and at a condo timeshare we had access to. However, the best stays were where we could be our unmasked selves, while visiting family in Tennessee and Pennsylvania and our good friends, Sam and Rich Rice in Ohio. (Sam and Rich said to say hello to everyone, by the way!) While we enjoyed our trip, the masks reminded us that all is not right in the world and the trip was not at all “normal”.
So, if we as adults cannot find total normalcy in our lives at this point, how can we expect children to under- stand why they need to wear a surgical mask on top of their Halloween costume? To venture daily through the un- known road ahead, I believe we need to embrace what we have in front of us…Love for our family, forgiveness in our hearts, offering a helpful hand to our fellow man/woman and supporting each other through this craziness.
Above all, we need to live by the sound advice of the Good Book. Reading the bible never hurt anyone. After all, I hear there may be a man by the name of Saul, walking down the road to De-Mask-Us (pun intended). I’m betting he’ll meet up with someone on that road who can provide the answers to turn things around! God bless us all. Stay safe, my friends!
Holly Necochea, October Deacon of the Month
Deacons: Louise Saxby, Nancy Divine, Holly Necochea, Mitzi Fitch, Judy Workman, and Dawn Vitters