Why are masks so politicized?


Photo By: Isabella Sandoval

Spectators watch the Rockets vs. Buffaloes game on Oct 25, 2020 at Rutledge Stadium. The district is requiring anyone on school property to have a mask on at all times, unless you are eating or drinking.

Why have masks become so politicized? Are they really necessary, is the question? 

Some people have expressed strong opinions that masks restrict breathing, are against their constitutional rights, and even suggest that it makes them sick or doesn’t really protect from COVID-19.

Others argue that they feel more safe wearing a mask and that they can breathe fine, that it is best for the whole to wear one to protect from COVID-19.

We are in a serious public health crisis, one in which all people should take seriously, follow the science, and listen to doctors. While health experts say that it is evident that face masks will prevent and slow down the spread of COVID-19, it is mind-blowing that wearing a simple piece of cloth has become so politicized.

The first death from COVID-19 in the United States was reported to be sometime in early February. Now, there are nearly 215,000 deaths and counting in the United States. 

It has been proven that one of the most effective measures to avoid contracting COVID-19 has been to wear some type of protective face covering. Even though the CDC recommends that everyone wear one in order to slow down the spread of this virus, not everyone has been eager to get on board.

Frankly, people have been fighting – over a mask.

The transmission of this virus occurs through coughing, sneezing, and even just talking to a friend or co-worker, and that is where a face covering of some kind comes into action. It’s a simple concept that seemingly doesn’t compute for many.

It is understood that masks are not 100% guaranteed to prevent you from contracting COVID-19, but they have been effective in mitigating the spread of the virus. A mask creates a barrier between you and others. 

This is the best we can do for now until there is a vaccine.

If a mask can help prevent the spread of a deadly virus, then it should be a given that we need to keep them around so that we can avoid future outbreaks.

In Japan, it was no big deal for them to wear a mask when COVID-19 came around because masks have been common in Japan long before COVID-19 outbreak. This is why Japan didn’t experience the high numbers that we experienced here in the United States. The same is true in South Korea, New Zealand, and Canada – their deaths are nowhere near the number we have.

The United States leads the world in deaths from COVID-19.

If Americans would simply wear a mask, and follow the few other recommendations in order to limit the spread of the virus, we could beat this pandemic and possibly get back to the way things were before. And if masks became a permanent thing, we could avoid having to pull ourselves out of a situation like this again.

But, for some reason, we are fighting – over a mask.


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