OPINION: Why Continuing to Wear a Mask Is an Act of Christlike Love

coronavirus has no race emojis wearing masks

Hi there! I sure hope you’re doing well and staying healthy. This whole COVID-19 thing has been going on for what feels like forever, am I right? In fact, it’s been going on for so long that I’ve felt like giving up and choosing to not wear a mask a couple of times. Am I the only one?

Related: 17 Recipes to Make When COVID-19 Keeps You From the Grocery Store

The Impact We Have

I’ve noticed birthday parties and baby showers have started up again. I’ve even attended a couple of weddings. Family dinners are back and people are no longer avoiding the grocery stores. Finding toilet paper is a breeze.

However, this isn’t the case for all of us. Remember those “high risk” people we’ve been hearing about this entire time? Yeah, they still exist. And they don’t get to dance at those weddings or attend family dinner. They’re still stuck in their houses. And guess what else? We have the ability to help them.

I have a friend from college who has cystic fibrosis. If infected, this virus would be devastating. I’ve noticed him posting some memes on Facebook and Twitter about how it would be great if people continued to wear their masks. I quickly realized that my small decision to put a piece of fabric across my face impacts so much more than just my comfort level.

If every single person wore some sort of mask, this friend of mine (and so many others like him) would be able to leave their houses sooner. They would be able to run to the store for some quick necessities. They could feel safe.

Freedom to Serve Others

this isn't forever it's just right now wear a mask

Because of the desire to help those that are high risk, Costco made the decision to require masks. Do you know what I heard shortly after? Complaints. I literally encountered people who said they were going to boycott Costco because requiring a mask was “taking away their freedom.”

All I could think was, “Do they not realize that masks are not for ourselves?” Masks are for others. We wear them at the grocery store to protect our neighbors. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the selfishness I’ve experienced during these last few weeks.

My husband has a grandma who is extremely high risk. If she were to catch COVID-19, we would almost certainly lose her. However, that doesn’t stop her caretakers, my in-laws, from needing to go grocery shopping. They can wear masks, sanitize, and do their best to stay safe. But they can’t control a sneeze aimed in their direction coming from someone without a face covering. This thought causes the entire family to stress.

I simply wish that we could all stop thinking so much about ourselves. Think for a moment about our brothers and sisters around you. Do their lives not matter? Do the lives of their family members not matter? You can most definitely make a difference and help them by covering your face and maintaining a safe distance from others.

What Would Christ Do?

keep calm and protect your friends

Sure, wearing a mask can be uncomfortable. I promise I’ve felt it too. But isn’t that a small price to pay for literally saving lives? I can 100% endure some discomfort for a few minutes if it means helping those around me. I know you can too.

Jesus Christ isn’t here right now. Because of this, He has asked us to serve others and be His hands. Don’t you think He would do everything in His power to make sure the people around Him feel safe? I sure do. I know without a doubt that continuing to wear a mask in public is an act of Christlike love and charity.

I’m honestly confused as to why this is such a controversial topic on my Facebook feed right now. I am choosing not to think of masks as a symbol of my “freedom being taken away.” I think of it as an act of love. My choice is to do as my Savior would and serve those around me.

John 15: 12-13 says,

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I don’t think Christ is necessarily asking you to die for your friends right now. I think this scripture simply means making sacrifices. Be selfless. Show your love for your neighbors and friends. Wear a mask. It’s such a small gesture that goes so far.

My Plea To You

don't panic wear a mask

I don’t care that “deaths are continuing to decrease.” I’m not bothered by the fact that I am young and it’s “just like a cold.” Sure, maybe this virus won’t kill me. But it’s not me that I’m worried about. I’m worried about my brothers and sisters who are put at a higher risk because of the carelessness of others.

I am begging you to take a moment and consider where you stand on this issue. Please, think about the ones you love and realize how blessed you are to have them. Find it in your heart to make some sacrifices.

Stay safe, keep social distancing, and wear a mask next time you go out. I, and many others, will appreciate it.

Related: How to Avoid Taking Spiritual Steps Back During Quarantine

Don’t forget to share this article on your favorite social media! The more masks, the merrier. Thanks for your help!

Brooklyn Gittins is an enthusiastic member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has written for food and lifestyle blogs but is currently sharpening her skills as a writing intern for Third Hour. She enjoys spending time with her husband, petting dogs, and eating buttered noodles.