OPINION

Masks finally reveal the truth - we are all the same

Masks finally reveal the truth - we are all the same

I was watching Law and Order: SVU the other night - don't judge, some of the bad guys are more likable than our reality TV stars - when something strange happened. The detectives stormed a perp's apartment ... wearing facemasks.

It was like our worlds aligned. Finally, I had something in common with Mariska Hargitay. It was bizarre how excited I was.

There was a bit of a buzz earlier in the week when I had heard Judge Judy talking about the pandemic, but this was a whole different level.

It got me thinking about how we are living in a period that will go down in history.

It will be like the prohibition era and the Depression - a marker in time by which other times can be measured.

And what is likely to be the indicator of this time?

The facemask. The facemask will make any B-grade movie, any series, any flashback, instantly recognisable as the COVID era - assuming we are able to get out of the facemask phase before too much time has passed.

That got me thinking even further about how this is an era the whole world has in common. Has it ever happened before?

Further to this - has the whole world ever faced a common enemy before?

Are we, for the first time in recorded history, united against a common threat?

Even taking into account that some people believe this is a manufactured threat, somehow cooked up by leaders who have never before agreed on anything, this is significant.

Is there any tiny corner of the world that hasn't joined the COVID conga?

Obviously, the extent of the threat varies from the extreme of mass graves to the inconvenience of toilet paper shortages.

Your life is once again determined by the accident of your birth.

But, from behind our masks, we mostly recognise a common enemy. We are impacted by uncertainty, isolation and sometimes, fear.

Last week, a staff member at my favourite takeaway and I finally managed to breach our language difficulties when she told me her friend was struggling to stay alive in hospital in the Philippines.

Many of us have family members overseas (or here) who have had COVID. The world has never felt both larger and smaller.

We can see each other and hear each other, but we cannot meet.

We cannot hug the family members who live across invisible borders, we cannot make plans.

But we are still here.

And we are sharply reminded that we are all the same species.

Footballers, farmers, social media influencers, police, the homeless, those just trying to make a dollar - we are all the same species. Whatever country, whatever circumstances.

And that's why I can finally call Mariska Hargitay my sister.

Marie Low is a freelance journalist based in Gunnedah, NSW.

This story Masks finally reveal the truth - we are all the same first appeared on The Canberra Times.