Mask: noun: a covering for all or part of the face, worn as a disguise, or to amuse or terrify other people.
Verb: conceal (something) from view.
Here are some synonyms for mask: camouflage, cloak, veil, affectation, air, blind, concealment, cover-up, disguise, façade, front, guise, hood, masquerade, pose, posture, pretense, pretext, put-on, fig leaf.
Virtually all of these terms have negative connotations. They all describe an attempt to hide, confuse, obfuscate, confuse and bewilder. To deny reality and truth. We may put on a mask to pretend or frighten. To do bad things anonymously. Masks are incompatible with human dignity and an open society.
It is no coincidence that the riots, lawlessness, destruction and sheer depravity that has broken out around the country in recent days came hard on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic and governments’ mandate that most of us give up our jobs-- and don face masks if and when we are allowed to step outside. Idleness, lack of money, loneliness, substance abuse, and resentment welled up, just waiting for a trigger to burst forth. The Minneapolis policemen who extinguished George Floyd conveniently provided that spark. The masks just made it all seem so much easier. A perfect storm. And masks aren’t just for Antifa anymore. Now they are a totem of the left, of the “resistance.” Antifa masks were illegal in some localities prior to the coronavirus crisis. Now masks are legally required in many of the same areas and de rigueur in most others.
Masks may make rioters bolder, but they don’t make them braver. They more often are an attempt to hide the smallness, cravenness and lack of self-respect of those who wear them.
“Experts” say masks may or may not help prevent us from getting sick. They are most certainly not amusing. Nor do they really conceal anything, other than the truth. Ironically, they reveal the sickness and cravenness that has penetrated our souls, masks or no masks.