Paraphrasing a famous quote fit for the challenging times of the coronavirus global pandemic.


First published in August 2020.


Martin Niemöller was a German Lutheran pastor who decided to oppose the Nazi in 1934. He is best remembered for his postwar words that still resonate today, First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out…

Martin Niemöller, 1959. / Wikipedia – Daan Noske / Anefo

We need a global awakening to the fact that we are all connected, and that wearing a face mask during the Covid-19 pandemic will not only save other people’s lives (the others...) – but also save the lives of our closest relatives, and ultimately our own lives.

In the same spirit as, and to paraphrase Niemöller, the following is a contemporary version of the pastor’s quote which probably fits our challenging times:


First they said it killed the elderly, and I did not wear a mask — because I was not an elderly.

Then they said it killed people with pre-existing conditions, and I did not wear a mask — because I had no pre-existing conditions.

Then they said it killed health workers, and I did not wear a mask — because I was not a health worker.

Then they said it killed low-skilled workers, and I did not wear a mask — because I was not a low-skilled worker.

Then they said it killed people from black, Asian and ethnic minorities, and I did not wear a mask — because I was not a BAME.

Then they said it killed more men than women, and I did not wear a mask — because I was not a man.

Then they said it killed some older children, and I did not wear a mask — because my children were all under 10.

Then they said it killed almost a million people, and I did not wear a mask — because I didn’t know anyone who had died from it.

Then it killed my children and my husband — and there was no one left at home.


Wear a mask. Save lives. Stay safe.🔷





[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 9 August 2020. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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