We have learned a great deal about what masks do over the last few years.
We’ve learned that masks go over our mouths and noses.
Those masks protect us. That seems clear. We understand that there is some controversy about how much protection they offer, about which kinds of masks offer how much protection to whom, but we are grateful to them. They’ve kept us safe.
We know that masks muffle our voices; we know that often, when we listen to someone speaking through a mask, we tend to take off our own, as if that would help us hear.
Those masks hide our smiles, our looks of joy or dismay or disgust. They make our noses run. (Okay, they make my nose run.)
They keep us safe but it is marvelous to take them off.
For a few years, the only way to keep safe on Purim, were we to go out, would have been to put on two masks, one on the top of our faces, one on the bottom. We’d look like playing cards; we could stand on our heads and still be masked.
Now, we’re back to the other kinds of masks, the kinds that we can be dashing in.
We can play with them. We can be creative; we can be outrageous; we can be seductive or silly or full-on clownish. We can be anyone or anything we want to be.
Covid isn’t over, not even almost, but thanks to science and vaccines and masks and good sense, thanks to our understanding that it’s endemic and we’ll probably get it many times over but if we’re lucky enough to escape long covid and we’re otherwise in good health, we’ll be okay.
We approach the world differently now, but we’re back in it. Masked or not.
We at the Jewish Standard wish all of our readers a happy, silly, noisy, laugh-filled Purim. We’ve earned it.