Stay safe, keep smiling

Posted April 2, 2020


How to stay connected when smiles are hidden by masks


Commentary by Rick Seifert


One of the many joys bestowed on me by my daily walks are the smiles we walkers inevitably exchange. Shared smiles are like the daffodils that brighten these all-too-often solemn days.


Smiles are “we-are-all-in-this-together” signs of neighborliness, community and hope.


But now, as I write this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seems on the verge of recommending that we all wear smile-hiding masks in public.


After first being told that masks weren’t needed on our walks, now we may be told they provide a modicum of protection for us.


Well and good, but it is worth asking whether the physical protection afforded by masks is worth the disappearance of public smiles and the comfort they provide.


The rational among us will argue you can’t have it both ways. The dead don’t smile. Today’s masks will ensure tomorrow’s smiles.


But why should that cold logic wipe away today’s shared smiles?


The necessity of mental health and public humor should be the mother of...masks embellished or decorated with SMILES.


Consider the expressions that emojis bring to our texts and e-mails.


Consider masks of feigned surprise. Or mock exasperation. Or plucky determination.


Or a heart. Or a bold kiss.


Don a mask for each day’s walk and for each day’s feeling. Display the joy of the day. And consider that even days of sadness can be met by a neighbor’s mask of love and compassion.


Have an opinion to share? Tell us what you think.