June 15, 2020 – Is a Mask a Political Statement?
#MaskUp for everyone’s good health.
Somehow, there’s a debate around whether or not to wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some people make the argument that being required to wear a mask violates their constitutional rights. Other people make the argument that cloth masks are ineffective and so it doesn’t make sense to make people wear them.
Personally, I’m most concerned about what cloth masks can do to stop the spread. Because, well, if you get sick and die you’re not going to be able to exercise your constitutional rights anyway.
Several common misconceptions are getting in the way of people understanding how a mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep them healthy.
Some people think that wearing a cloth mask doesn’t do anything. But woven cloth acts as a physical barrier, keeping droplets from coughs, sneezes, and just talking from spreading. the virus
Then there’s those who think that if I not “sick” I don’t need a mask. The thing is, COVID-19 can be (and has been) spread by people who didn’t have any symptoms.
For others a mask can give them a false sense of security. They think that if they wear a mask that’s enough. But COVID-19 can spread from physical contact with the virus, either from an infected person or on an infected surface. That’s where hand washing and keeping physically separate comes in.
Then there are the sloppy mask wearers. You’ve seen them. Their mask covers their mouth, but not their nose. Or they pull their mask down to talk. For a mask to be effective it needs to cover both the nose and the mouth and be snug against the skin.
Finally, there are those who say wearing a mask makes it hard for them to breathe. While there are people who have severe breathing problems, that’s not true for the vast majority of people. Covering your mouth and nose with a couple of layers of fabric might take some getting used to but it won’t keep you from being able to breathe.
Is wearing a mask a political statement? It shouldn’t be. Mask wearing should be a public health statement. It says a couple of things: “I understand and accept current scientific thinking about how this virus spreads and how it can be stopped. I value my health and the health of the people I come in contact with. And I am willing to do what I can to keep myself and those around me healthy.”