Yes, You Have to Wear Your Mask That Way— Here’s Why
Wearing masks wrong just makes you look stupid, anyway.
Research and Opinion by Zoey Dorsey
Ms. Durkin shows-off her "Air" Helmet. She loves it, but she's too embarrassed to wear it at school.
Has the Plague mask come back?
The hoodie-mask combo seems to be this year's "go-to" fashion statement.
It’s been over a year since masks became mandatory in public, and the number of people outright refusing to wear their masks properly, let alone at all, is absolutely absurd. Using common sense and looking at the wide variety of scientific information available is more than enough to show why people need to wear them. However, many are unaware of the facts, both unintentionally and on purpose.
For starters, the reason masks work is simple: they provide a barrier between a person’s face, as well as their respiratory system, and the virus particles in the air. Although people may point out that masks are incapable of keeping everything out, that does not change the fact that they provide some level of protection. Think of it this way: if a bottle of water is sprayed, everything in front of it would get wet. But if a barrier such as a sheet of paper, or a piece of fabric is put in front of it, significantly less water would get through. This is exactly how masks work. If respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing, or even breathing are present, the mask will stop a large portion of the droplets from being expelled out into the air. Masks are a preventative measure, and when put together with proper distancing and sanitization, they can be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 to people, especially those who are older, pregnant, or have health conditions that put them at a higher risk of contracting and or dying from the Coronavirus. For further protection, wearing form fitting masks or even two masks at once, can lower the rate of spread. People should wear masks over their nose as well, because respiratory droplets can also escape from a person’s nose very easily.
Of course, there are also many common misconceptions about masks. For example, there is a portion of people who believe that face shields are a viable alternative to standard face masks. This is entirely false. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have stated that face shields are not recommended whatsoever, due to the fact that they have large openings on the sides and at the bottom where respiratory droplets can easily escape through. The only exception to this is those who have conditions that make it difficult for them to breathe or communicate. In these instances, face shields should be tight on the sides and reach far below the chin, to limit spread as much as possible (WHO). For those with the ability to wear proper face masks, it is selfish and unacceptable to use a face shield when they are perfectly capable of using better protection. Another common misconception is that because masks provide a barrier that stops respiratory droplets, they must also reduce the amount of oxygen a person is receiving. This is just entirely factually incorrect. Virus particles, such as COVID-19, are much larger than oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules. Even if a person feels more restricted by a face mask, that doesn’t mean that they’re actually missing a substantial amount of oxygen. Additionally, many think that they don’t need to wear a mask if they don’t feel sick, or that social distancing doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a mask. Both of these are completely wrong, as people carrying COVID-19 may not show symptoms for a while or at all, and social distancing provides a backup if a person’s mask doesn’t stop everything.
Overall, there is a large amount of misinformation or complete disregard for others when it comes to wearing masks. The amount of people who refuse to listen to the scientists and doctors, simply because they feel like they’re entitled to endangering others if they’re uncomfortable is completely abhorrent. Wearing masks saves lives, and listening to professionals who know what they’re talking about saves the majority. Stop thinking it doesn’t matter, because “you’re young” or “you won’t die from it”. Because people are dying, and refusing to wear one might just end with accidentally killing loved ones.