Hold Your Applause

by Ashley C. Lanuza

Our “almost'' is now an opportunity to become “completely”. Vaccines give us permission to protect our loved ones, to undo the wounds that we’ve festered as we reckoned our systemic oppression, our capital greed. It’s our chance to rebuild, restore.

In our Filipino culture, we take our elders’ leather-like hand to the core of our clay-like forehead. “Mano Po,” a sign of visible respect and invisible boundaries. So if I cannot touch hand to forehead, does it feel like a slap to their face? Can these N95s even shield them from my “Hello”?