I sat in the taxi staring at the screen, as I usually did, watching a scene showing several Chinese people wearing masks. The taxi TV blared, “the Coronavirus rages through China, enhancing the possibility that it will spread to America!”
“Dad,” I asked. “What is the Coronavirus?” He turned to me nervously, as if I had asked where babies come from or if Santa Claus was real. Questions that for me had been answered long ago.
“Well, the Coronavirus is a disease,” he said. “It's taken a few lives, but none of them have been kids.”
Why were they all wearing masks? I thought. In my mind, it was a sign of weakness. Giving into their nosophobia. I was the only one not wearing a mask outside. I looked at my mom and asked, “Why are you wearing a mask?” “Because it keeps me and others safe,” she answered.
I had not been outside since school went remote. I was terrified by the thought of everyone wearing a mask. It made me uncomfortable. What if, even when the Coronavirus ends, people still wear masks? What if things never go back to normal?