When can we stop wearing masks in public?

When can we stop wearing masks in public?  Judging from the news, a better question is when should we stop wearing masks in public?  The answer, of course, is that it depends.  I’m going to address my suggested answer to Christians.  Others may want to do the same.  However, I believe Christians really should take heed to what follows.

When can we stop wearing masks in public?Let me begin to answer my question, when can we stop wearing masks in public, with yet another question.

Are you familiar with the passage below?

The Greatest Commandment – Matthew

22:34-40 pp — Mk 12:28-31

Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Every Christian really should know this passage.  And therefore, every Christian should love our neighbor.  And while we’re at it, every Christian should also know that everyone is our neighbor.  Are we all good here?  Any disagreements?  I’m open to getting quotes from the Bible that say the passage in Matthew is no longer in effect.

Why we shouldn’t stop wearing masks in public

Unless you trust politics more than science and more than your powers of observation relating to people you know and things you see around you – then you know that COVID-19 is deadly.  Yes, there are people who don’t believe it.  But if you know anyone who’s a nurse, doctor, ambulance worker, first responder, Etc. then they can personally tell you – it really is deadly.  The whole world isn’t faking a problem with the sole intention of keeping Donald Trump from being reelected.

Who should wear a mask in public?

Next, there’s the question of whether everyone should wear a mask – or only sick people.

First of all, no one really knows for sure they don’t have it.  We can have the virus, but not show symptoms.  Again – ask anyone you know in that list of people above.  Besides that, the tests aren’t even 100% accurate.  So even being tested and coming up negative doesn’t truly mean the person isn’t sick.  We just don’t know.

Second, there’s the weird question of whether the masks only work in one direction.  You know – it prevents spreading the virus, but doesn’t protect someone wearing one?  Therefore, the false reasoning goes – only sick people need to wear one.  As if we even knew who the sick people were.

But think about this.   Yes – think.  If the logic was true – it prevents a sick person from spreading the virus, but won’t protect someone who’s not sick – then we’d be told to wear them differently.  Get it?  If the mask only trapped the virus particle in one direction – then sick people could wear them one way – and healthy people could wear them the opposite way!  For instance – with the white and blue ones – maybe the sick people have the blue side out – and the healthy people have the white side out!  It’s so easy!

The problem is, that’s not the way they work.  It’s not a directional issue.  The color of the layer doesn’t affect what that layer does.  And besides that – there’s still the question of who’s really sick and who’s really healthy?

Conclusion – When can we stop wearing masks in public?

Remember the passage at the beginning?  The one about loving our neighbor?  

Since there’s no way, as we saw, to know who’s sick and who isn’t, the loving thing to do is assume we’re all potentially sick.  And since we love our neighbors – all of them – then we wear a mask.  We love them, so we don’t want them to get sick and especially don’t want them to die.  So we wear a mask.

The ultimate answer then, at least for Christians and hopefully for everyone, is that we can stop wearing a mask when one of two things happens. 

One – we have a working vaccine that available to everyone and the virus is rendered harmless. 

Two – however, until such time, we should wear, and should want to wear, a mask until it’s OK to not love our neighbor anymore.

Of course, it’s never going to be OK for Christians to not love our neighbor anymore, so the only real answer, for us, is to keep wearing the mask until a working vaccine is widely distributed.  It’s the Christian thing to do.  It’s the loving thing to do.  And last I read in the Bible, all Christians should be loving.

So please – wear the mask!

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

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