Mirza Sohaib Ikram
Much has been written and said about when the first mask was worn in the world and it is said that the mask still exists today after traveling for centuries and changing thousands of forms. But the masks that six billion people are forced to wear today during the corona pandemic was unknown to the common man until recently.
If we look at human history, the masks that cover the face, especially during war are found to be 30,000 to 40,000 years old. But the regular masks that have been discovered traditionally date back to 9,000 years ago and adorn museums in Paris and Jerusalem. Similarly, a look at the history of ancient Roman dramas reveals evidence of masks. Also masks have been part of religious traditions in various forms. For example, the use of carnivals que masks wore in Jewish festivals probably began in the late 15th century, although some Jewish writers claim that it has always been part of the Jewish tradition.
And as mentioned in some chapter of history, masks have been worn as a treatment. The Iroquois tribes of North America used masks for healing.
In December 2019, the Corona virus took over the world and the whole world was left in a state of uncertainty. Man had to fight a germ that the human eye could not see, did not know its name, and did not know how the disease and this killer attack was.
Human kind has seen thousands of enemies since ancient times. Millions of people died in countless wars. Diseases and epidemics have wiped out many parts of the world and settlements from the map.
Little peak at history shows that the events of the world are described in terms of post-Christ and BC. After that, the second division of man was seen after the world war because this incident had changed the whole world. After that, the tragedy of 9/11 caused the world to grieve. All these major events have divided man into different groups, languages and geography. This is what Corona has done today. It has divided the world into pre-Corona and post-Corona periods. Corona has become a battle that will one day end, but its effects on humanity will last for a long time.
During the Corona epidemic, humans adopted a variety of medications, precautions, and healthcare practices, but what made every human being a captive is a mask.
If we think about January 2020, the standard of morality in human civilization used to go from salutation to handshake. And other way to express love and affection were by hugging and kissing each other on the cheek as in the traditions of some countries. Child be our or others, he would be picked up on a lap and he or she would be kissed affectionately. In literary terms and in matters of respect, the footsteps of the beloved are kissed and the hand of the parents is kissed.
Time has changed the way of affection, and compelled by it, that today’s man changes his way getting a site of the other man from afar. States are going to the extent of punishing their own citizens for not maintaining the distance from each other. Presidents and Prime ministers are seen hiding their faces and asking the people to wear masks. The veiled people were already hiding their faces, but the class that all its life considered covering the face a violation of human rights is no longer tired of explaining the usefulness of the mask.
The Corona epidemic has been going on for more than a year. It has gone worse and got better, but one thing that did not change for a day is the use of masks. The biggest issue in the world today is persuading people to wear masks.
In some part of the world where life has become somewhat normal, weddings and other celebrations have begun, people are attending celebrations of joy and sorrow with masks. The wedding scene looks like a hospital. People look far away from each other. People try to avoid meeting and in most marriages, mandatory masks is mentioned on all invitations.
In the civilized world, it was once considered a disgrace for a human being to meet another person with covered face, rather objections were raised about women wearing veil, saying that covering one’s face is against personal freedom. Keeping one’s face open was necessary as expression of beauty and also as a fundamental right. The use of masks was limited to medical institutions and certain special fields. Ordinary people did not even know his name before this epidemic. And when it became part of human lives, for a while, everyone found it a hassel. People were always trying to adjust it while wearing it. Every human being feels as if he was being stared for wearing mask. At first, the use of masks seemed so strange that people were embarrassed. But gradually it became ingrained in society as if it were the first and most basic human need. Without hesitation, people at parties and in markets are urging the man without mask to stay away from themself. Now masks have become so common and necessary that everyone has to have a sanitizer and mask along with a mobile in their pocket. Admission to all institutions, including shops, restaurants and schools, is subject to masks only. Man sees the protection of his being in this tiny but crucial mask.
The mask covers the face from the chin to the nose. The virus that can enter the human body through inhalation and damage can be prevented by covering the mouth and nose. Until yesterday, showing the face was considered everything in the world, but times have changed so much that today hiding the face has become a symbol of security.
How far does this change in the world will take us and who knows when man will come out of this spell. Will man ever be able to return to the place where it was considered good for man to meet and hug?
Hopefully the time will come again when the world will come out of the dark spell and with the destruction of this plague and life will go on as usual but this phase which human have gone thru and the way the world has been forced to adapt new way of life, will ever be forgotten? One would have wondered if this year was a reality. Man will never forget his helplessness. How will a person feel when he is hugged by someone and leaves the house without a mask?
All this period which was full of difficulties and sufferings in which all the principles of humanity have been shattered, man will surely go through it, but in the shadow of this fear and terror, this death knell, these desolations will not be forgotten for a long time. The mask will one day come off completely and its need and usefulness will disappear. But it will never be forgotten. Today’s man will never be able to shake this phase from his mind. The children who have witnessed this horrible time at an early age have been preserved in their memory for the rest of their lives and some or the other moment, this precautionary and scary atmosphere will be remembered.