Were masks and pandemic anxiety a useful distraction towards ideas that should not matter, but did (to many)?

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Were masks and pandemic anxiety a useful distraction towards ideas that should not matter, but did (to many)?

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Like everything having to do with public interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and lockdowns significantly impacted "traditional weddings." Gone were the days of large weddings, dancing around mask free and hugging the happy couple. If you search the internet, you will find a large amount of information on happy couples who had to cancel or alter their plans. Many of the #COVID BRIDES stories on this archive illustrate the extreme panic of changing plans and constant change, such as wearing masks in their pictures. The pandemic altering, delaying, or even preventing weddings has impacted society's mental health and perhaps future cultural traditions in weddings. This archive has a collection on mental health,, which demonstrates how hard this pandemic has been on many people.

The effects on mental health shows how weddings are a popular and important tradition in American society. The ceremony is a way to share your love before others, blend families and friends, and move from a "single person" to a team. When I say wedding, I mean the customs and celebration within the ceremony, not the genders of the couple. Gay marriage has not been legal throughout America long, only since 2013. The anxiety and stress of two years of delayed/cancelled weddings during a pandemic pale in comparison to the longstanding social pressure for LGBTQ people not to marry, on top of previous legality issues. There is still a large group of Americans that have the opinion that it is "evil" or a sin. I have seen and heard in person, movies, or television disparaging remarks on the idea of two men or two women getting married and/or kissing.
I wanted to highlight this picture from TIME magazine as I hope it demonstrates that masks made people freak out. The idea that the officiant and the people were so distracted and concerned about the two brides either not wearing masks or being the only two kissing while not wearing masks----rather than not being male/female made me smile. I hope some of the pain, anxiety, and discomfort of the pandemic was turned into positivity by distracting people from the meaningless idea of couple's gender and that some LGBTQ opponents realized there are bigger problems in the world.

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Picture or artist rendering from TIME magazine

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This item was submitted on March 27, 2022 by Jason Inskeep using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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