Wear a Mask


Art by Caeli Harman

Rachel Callahan, Features and Cover Story Editor

After a long eight hour shift, your legs aching and your eyes heavy with exhaustion, taking off your mask might be the best feeling. It might be hard having something pressed against your face for hours at a time, but knowing you can save yourself, your family, and the hundreds of other people you may run into throughout the day is worth the minor inconvenience.

Younger children, elderly, disabled, and the average healthy person are all susceptible to COVID-19. According to an article published by UCDavis, wearing a mask only cuts your own risk of contracting the virus by 65%. Although this might not be a lot, that 65% could be someone’s newly born child, someone’s mother, or someone’s best friend. This virus is a big unknown for us. With it being so new and deadly, there will be no definitive answer to this disease.

Recently it has been found that there are some inflammatory responses in younger kids, where lungs become inflamed causing more breathing problems. Health professionals around the world are researching this daily, but until there is a vaccine, wearing a mask can save every person you come into contact with throughout your day.

Some people’s reasoning behind not wanting to wear a mask include different political beliefs, health reasoning, or the overall inconvenience of wearing one. I have pretty bad asthma and anxiety, which can both often make it hard to breathe, especially if I’m walking around a store, laughing loudly, or talking for long periods of time. Even though these things can make me pretty uncomfortable, I still choose to wear one.

Ever since COVID-19 first started, there have been many people refusing to simply put on a mask. That leaves many people to wonder, why? Our own president, Donald Trump, as well as many members of the cabinet, publicly refused to wear one, which led many to think, if the president doesn’t wear one, why should I? After the Trump rally in Oklahoma, cases raised from 687 confirmed, to 5,005 in a matter of two weeks after the rally. Children younger than two years old are not required to wear a mask because if they were unable to breathe for a moment of time, they would not be able to take it off themselves. I have seen many young children with their parents wearing a mask, because even these parents are aware of what damage the disease can do. Even if you are a healthy athlete with no preexisting medical conditions, the painful symptoms of the virus are mostly unavoidable. Fever, fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, headache, loss of taste, smell, and appetite are just a few of the many agonizing side effects.

No one is immune to COVID-19. If by chance these symptoms don’t affect you, it could affect every other person you come into contact with throughout the day.

I know several people who have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, and have had to be alone in quarantine for two weeks, in addition to the miserable symptoms, it is not worth deciding to avoid wearing a mask in Walmart. A deadly virus is not something to debate about, especially if that deadly virus takes a loved one. Next time you leave your house in a rush, make it a point to not only grab your car keys and phone, but a mask as well.


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