Through the week of March 30-April 4, 2020, here in Spokane, Wa., I saw nary a person wearing a mask. This week starting April 5, I emerged from my lair to shop for some food, and found almost everyone was wearing a mask. I had thought about donning a mask last week, but since almost no one was wearing one, a couple of thoughts dominated: “I don’t want other people to think I have the virus and fear me, just because I am wearing a mask” and “If I hide my identity with a mask, will others suspect that I am up to no good?” Silly me! But this week, before going out, not having read or heard about a mask edict, I decided I was going to wear a mask because it could help protect others (from a virus I have no reason to suspect I am infected with) and as an example to others of what they should do.
Voila, parking my car at Super 1 Foods, I notice almost everyone, customers and store employees, wearing masks. Later that day I watched a video produced by the Seattle Downtown Merchants association, featuring drone shots of an empty city, many stores with colorful messages (that’s “in color”, not off color) on the plywood boards protecting their windows, thanking their customers, employees and local government, and writing “we’ll be back” (Arnold Schwarzenegger accent). The title of the video was, “This Is What Love Looks Like—Social Distancing.” They’re right, it’s a form of love, to protect others, with sacrifice. I just hope they can all come back!
For you young folks reading this, “who was that masked man?“ was the rhetorical question posed about the heroic figure who had just dispatched all the bad guys, riding out of town with his “faithful Indian companion, Tonto. They used to say, “riding into the sunset”, but since seeing this Farside cartoon I avoid that cliche.
Who was he? The Lone Ranger, the title character in a TV show from 1949-1957. According to IMDB and Wikipedia, The Lone Ranger was the only Texas Ranger in a posse who survived an ambush. He was nursed back to health by the Potawatomi tribesman Tonto, and he wears a mask to
protect others from Coronavirus hide his identity. They ride together throughout the West, doing good while living off a silver mine which supplies them with income and bullets.
As generally depicted, the Lone Ranger conducts himself by a strict moral code based on that put in place by Fran Striker, the show’s writer, at the inception of the character. It read:
I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.
That all men are created equal, and that everyone has within himself, the power to make this a better world.
That God put the firewood there, but that every man must gather and light it himself.
In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally, to fight when necessary
for what is right.
That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
That ‘this government, of the people, by the people and for the people’shall live always.
That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
That sooner or later…somewhere…somehow…we must settle with the world
and make payment for what we have taken.
That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.
For awhile are we all lone rangers? That wouldn’t be a bad thing.
HAPPY EASTER, THE LORD IS RISEN.