WASHINGTON: For the Lone Ranger, or Yogi Berra wearing a mask always fitted the occasion. For Prince Prospero in Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death,” the occasion was not baseball (Yogi) or truthful disguise (The Lone Ranger). The mask is an allegory for the irrational fear of death.
Poe’s short story has a variety of interpretations but the gothic tale is an understanding that the disease wears the mask, sneaking in unseen. The mask is not to protect the victims.
The Prince, and his many nobles hide inside the abbey where they think their nobility and wealth will save them. The Masque of the Red Death – Wikipedia
The people facing the disease outside the protection of the abbey need to protect themselves. As the people face the invisible disease, they wear masks of fear. Only the masks don’t protect them. And the fear will kill them.
In Poe’s tale, as in COVID mad American, the politicians want the people fearful. The politicians do not care if the people are killed. Note Andrew Cuomo’s death and destruction in nursing homes. And his remorse?
Cuomo claims that, the mathematical models were all wrong.
In Masque of the Red Death, there are multiple rooms of various colors the nobles misunderstand.
In today’s climate of fear and panic, it is something of a coincidence that the Masque of the Red Death is the mask of red China. They gave us the disease. But like Poe’s character, Prospero, we have given ourselves the fear.
Or, our “leaders” have given it to us.
It is difficult to keep track of the rules of masks for the people.
The nobles (some doctors, some politicians) will one day say wear a mask. The next day reversing that decision. Or wear it if at the beach but not at the grocery store. Or whatever. These are political people and generally shouldn’t be in office.
Many of the doctors shouldn’t be in medicine.
Of course, the mob will take over if the nobles blather their stupidity long enough.
In a New York store, recently, people shouted-out a woman for failure to wear a mask. Another was arrested in front of her child for not wearing a mask. New York Shoppers Hound Customer Out of Grocery Store For Not Wearing Mask in Viral Video
They have been ordered in many cases by their governors or mayors or county judges to wear masks. Even Conservative wannabe Sean Hannity in his childish blather says we should wear masks.
But the masks-element of this ubiquitous China virus scare is only a mob mentality brought on by the politicians and quack doctors enjoying the limelight. There is also the petty “authorization” they believe they have received from the peon peoples outside the abbey.
People have been so capitalized by the fear of “Mask of Red China” that they wear masks while walking their dogs alone in an open park area. Or in their cars, alone.
And how many times a day do they change masks? Change? Oh, I thought a mask was like a filter. That is, it collects germs. What do you say Dr, Fauci? (or any other Dr. Doom) Should people wash their masks as often as they are told to wash their hands?
One day people may look back at the famous China virus fear of 2020 with a prosperous view. That prosperity coming from a lesson learned from politicians, and quacks and cranks. That lesson from the vicious stupid political bile sneezed by cheap hucksters and con artists like Cuomo and Whitmer and Garcetti and Wolf and DeBlasio and Edwards and a host of others; most of those in the bowels (and bile) of the Democrat party.
“Fear of disease killed more men than disease itself.” – Mahatma Gandhi
These so-called American leaders are the real “Masque of the Red Death.”
Paul Yarbrough writes novels, short stories, poetry, and essays. His first novel. Mississippi Cotton is a Kindle bestseller.