Love Behind The Mask

Categories Lifestyle, Meditation

Covid-19 has forced everybody
To wear a mask
while in public places.

It is, however, the love
behind that mask
that’s on my mind;
love that is clearly evident
in public spots
as more and more people
adorn the face-mask,
stay at least one metre apart,
handwash as many times as possible
and generally abide by the set rules.

There’s so much love despite the mask,
as they guide one to sanitize
outside a supermarket,
or at a mama mboga’s stall,
with the eyes clearly showing,
that it’s out of love;
that I would have loved a handshake,
but I am keeping my distance,
not because I loathe or hate you,
but because I am afraid.
It’s not about you.
It’s about an invisible enemy
who could be hiding in my throat
or in your throat.

There is so much love in spite of the mask,
which is imminent
as they sanitize
and show one which seat
to occupy in a matatu
because social distance
must be maintained.
The eyes are dying to pass the message that
it’s not about you my friend,
it’s about my fear
because I hear that the equipment
that is required
to save the very sick
in hospital
is in short supply
and I am not sure they
would pick a person of my economic status,
when pull comes to shove;
if there was only one ventilator left
and it was the two of us that needed it.

There is so much love behind the mask,
despite that our frontline healthcare worker must adorn Personal Protective Equipment
that is otherwise called PPE.
But inspite of them being unrecognizable,
in their PPEs,
it is written all over their eyes
as they send the message that
it’s not about you my friend,
it’s about me;
I am also afraid
because I do not know
who amongst you is safe and who is not.
Because I am unsure
that my body has enough immunity
to fend off an infection
by this virus.
Because I am not sure that
I can keep my family safe
after all the exposure that must come my way.

There is so much love inspite of the masks,
as our favourite vehicle mechanics,
as the hawkers on the streets,
strive to feed their beloved families;
and as they social distance on the streets.
It shows clearly in their eyes;
that it is not about you Sir, Madam,
it’s about my insecurities.
It’s about me and where I live.
So that I can play my part
not to carry the virus home
to my spouse and children
in our one-roomed house;
or to my neighbours
because what separates us
is just an iron sheet.

During this season of Covid-19,
nobody knows who is doing it right,
nobody knows who is doing it wrong,
because Covid-19 is novel,
and “novel” means ‘new’.
But one thing is unmistakable;
the love behind the mask
is real, overwhelming and loud.

I am an epic introvert, who quickly becomes an open book when I pen what’s in my significantly fertile mind; fertile as a result of bombardment by realities that are continuously captured by my inquisitive eyes, ears which are constantly rubbing the ground, through constant reading, and through dreaming too.

Writing provides an opportunity to ‘say’ what my unapologetic quiet mouth will not say; which not only soothes me, but also bequeaths to me a relief, a release, and a hope that the written words will change the world, even if only one person at a time.

And so should you seek, that’s where to find me; deeply tucked inside the blankets of reading, seeing, listening, dreaming, and then writing.

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