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Wear Your Mask, Massachusetts!

June 2, 2020

Written By Rebecca Shackford, Communications & Sales Coordinator, North of Boston CVB

“The greatest superheroes in history all wear masks…”

Anxiety was running high. We had barely left our home let alone the state for the last three months, but today we needed to put fear aside. We live in New Hampshire; I work in Massachusetts but have been working remotely since March. My husband has been waiting for a clinical trial to open in Boston.  With his symptoms increasing, waiting was no longer an option. The doctor needed to see him at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Today was the day.

We needed to be as careful as possible to not catch anything, especially the feared COVID-19. My husband already has a weakened immune system. We did not want to bring anything home to our two-year-old son or to our parents who are over 65. So, it was time to put on our masks, and face the fear of this invisible enemy.

As we headed to the hospital, I put on my handmade mask, a gift from my aunt. It was beautiful with perfectly sewn back ties and happy-looking sunflower material. I put it on, and it gave me strength. It felt like a warm hug from my aunt, and the anxiety began to fade. Why did it give me so much comfort?  Perhaps because my aunt/godmother made it or because she has the same birthday as my husband or because we have the same wedding anniversary. In any case, it made me feel strong, no longer weak.

I reminded myself there is no place for fear, after all I am the granddaughter of a WWII hero. My grandfather was a member of “The “Fighting First” 1st Infantry Division that landed on D-day and he lived to tell the tale. He was not afraid to wear his armor, running into battle. The mask is our armor in the war against COVID-19.

The greatest superheroes in history all wear masks: Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, doctors, and nurses…just to name a few. So, why not us? Wear your mask to give you the strength of a superhero. Wear your mask to give you comfort to ease the fear and anxiety this “new normal” has created. Wear your mask to protect others, yourself, and especially the ones you love against an unseen silent enemy.

As we drove into Boston along the Charles River, past Fenway Park, into the heart of the Boston hospital district, everyone wore a mask. Everywhere you looked regular citizens became superheroes donning their own individual face masks of all different materials and designs. Protecting us. Wear your masks, Massachusetts, and we will all be here to fight another day.


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