The introduction of the mask during the COVID-19 outbreak changed daily life in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and took many faces. From state repression in the city of Goma, to fear of the unknown in rural areas, the mask in the region generated both suspicion and humour.

Christian Pole Pole Bazuzi, a researcher and one of the founding members and co-directors of Marakuja Kivu Research, shares his thoughts on the imposition of masks, which changed daily life in the provincial capital and the Kivus region more broadly.