Masks, What's the Big Deal?
By: Nicki Richardson
Back in March of 2020, we believed that the Coronavirus would be over in just a few months and that we all just got a little bit extra added on to our spring break. A few weeks after that, it was officially announced as a global pandemic and the entire world was put on lockdown. Businesses were shut down, schools were closed for the rest of the year, people began being laid off from their jobs. It was advised for people to wear masks not only to protect themselves but to protect those around them to help slow the spread of the virus. In many parts of the world, it only took a few months before COVID cases had dropped and began to have a decline in lockdown procedures as they slowly opened back up.
Flash forward to October, eight months after all of this began, the United States is still under a partial lockdown, riots have happened over people refusing to wear masks in public, and even the leader of our country, who refused to wear a facial covering on multiple occasions, has had a positive test result for this virus that could of possibly only lasted a few months. Masks have seemed to be made political as many people doubt their effectiveness, even as the top health officials have been practically begging people to wear them.
Why do some people still refuse to wear masks, even when numbers show that people are still getting infected and dying from this disease? According to experts, when masks are worn correctly, it helps to reduce viral transmission by 70%. By wearing correctly, it is meant that you are sanitizing or washing your hands before putting them on, and making sure that they cover your nose and mouth fully. Wearing a mask does not only protect yourself but protects those around you who may be more at risk than others.
It is important to know the right times to wear a facial covering when you are out and about in public. If you are with people who you live with and are able to socially distance in an area such as a park, then you could take off your mask and enjoy the fresh air. If you are in a crowded grocery store or area where you can not distance yourself from people, masks need to be worn. It is selfish to not wear a mask, or wear it incorrectly with your nose outside of it because you are risking not only yourself but everyone around you.
Photo by: Xavier Donat