Put Your Mask On!


Originally published in the October 2020 issue of The Journal
Over the cours of the worldwide pandemic, caused by Covid-19, masks have been a sensitive subject. Some feel that masks do nothing to stop the spread, others understand that they’re there to help keep everyone protected. Studies show that those who wear masks DO help slow e spread of the virus.
When the virus first started spreading, masks weren’t mandated. Many use this as part of their “anti-mask” argument. This argument can now be shut down since scientist proved masks do slow the spread. Very little was known about the virus at the beginning, but (if you’ve kept up with research and paid attention to the news – not gossip and social media – over the last year) scientists and doctors have proven the importance of masks when it comes to spreading the virus, whether symptomatic or not. This “anti-mask” argument should be long over.
The Coronavirus (Covid-19) is spread through droplets of saliva that are smaller than hair follicles, produced in the air from everyday conversation. About 20-500 of these droplets are made airborne per average conversation according to UCSF.edu. The purpose of masks is to prevent these molecules from being exposed and inhaled by others. So by simply putting on a mask, you’re helping preventing the risk of spreading and inhaling it. It has been proved by scientists and doctors that Covid-19 is also airborne. If you work in a public facility, its important to wear a mask.
It’s also been proven that someone who breathes heavy (running on a treadmill or any heavy workout) sprays tiny particles that linger in the air for hours. If those particles are still in the air when you arrive and they are breathed its, you can get Covid-19.
Another claim of those not wearing a mask is, “I don’t have Covid-19, I don’t need a mask.” Thirty percent of cases were caused by carriers being unaware they had it, and nineteen percent were due to being asymptomatic (not showing symptoms). Nearly half of the cases have been spread because carriers were unaware they were carrying. If your main concern is yourself, then, as stated earlier, masks are there to also help lower your own chances of catching the virus.
With a mask on, spreading is lowered by 67 percent, 90 percent when 6-7 feet of distance is obtained according to ucdavis.edu. Countries that have had masks enforced have a lower death count compared to countries who haven’t.
For some, the virus may not be life or death, but for many it is. It’s important for everyone to do their part to slow the spread, especially to protect those who could lose their life. Wearing a mask is a small price to pay to save lives.