A Mask A Day Keeps the Virus Away


Masks and social distancing have been important in preventing the spread of Covid in schools.

Jeremy Carcamo, Reporter

There are people who still refuse to consider the safety of others even as more than 300,000 Americans have died of Covid-19. They say that wearing masks takes away their freedom. Right now, we have to acknowledge others instead of just ourselves. The real purpose of wearing a mask is to keep other people safe. The masks help to stop the spread of the virus, and not wearing it is just selfish.

We are experiencing a very unique year, from being in quarantine, to life as we know it being shut down, cities looking like ghost towns, and people buying groceries as if it were the end of the world.

One proven way to help bring us back to normal is if we all wear masks. The science behind masks lies in the material used for them, which decreases  the spread of the droplets that come out of our mouth. The University of San Francisco experimented using high-speed video that found, “hundreds of droplets ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers were generated when saying a simple phrase, but that nearly all these droplets were blocked when the mouth was covered by a damp washcloth.” This means that whenever a person sneezes into something like a cloth, it depletes the range at which the saliva comes out of the sneeze, making it harder to spread the virus in that manner. This ensures the safety of the people around the person who sneezed, which by far is one of the ways a person has a higher chance of getting infected. 

George Rutherford, a medical professional from the CDC stated, “The most important thing is the epidemiologic data.” The data shown in the experiments for masks prove their effectiveness to stop the spread of the particles coming out of our mouths. The world is lessened by the masks we wear, and if more people start wearing masks again the risk of infection will go down instead of skyrocketing again. 

Rutherford added, “You should always wear masks and social distance…I would be hesitant to try to parse it apart. But, yes, I think mask wearing is more important.” 

In a statistical collection of data conducted by the Pew Research Center, it shows that from June to August there was actually an increase of mask use from 65% in June to 85% in August. The effectiveness of this truly shows how many American lives are being saved just because of a percent increase of wearing masks.  

In addition, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey which showed that the use of masks is tied to politics as well.The statistics show, “… 92% of Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party say they usually wear masks in stores and other businesses, as do 76% of Republicans and GOP leaners.  It is evident that there is also a political influence over the decision of who wears masks and who doesn’t. But that is not the only possible influence on the decision to wear a mask. The use of masks varies even among racial groups,  the statistics show that “minority” groups are more concerned about the pandemic. “Meanwhile, White Americans (82%) still lag behind their Black (90%), Hispanic (91%) and Asian (90%) counterparts when it comes to regularly wearing masks in stores and other businesses” (PewResearch).

  President Donald Trump has also been an important influence on the use of masks.  He has publicly downplayed the serious threat of the Coronavirus. According to BBC News, “The Republicans are following the lead of the president: Trump has been reluctant to wear a mask, saying that it did not seem right to wear one while he was receiving heads of state at the White House.” 

Many opponents of wearing masks state that COVID is like the flu in saying that both die of the virus. For example Susan Wiles, an interviewed Trump supporter stated, Sure, there’s a virus,” she says. “But people die of the flu every year.” When it comes to the pandemic, she says: “I don’t fall for this. It’s not what they say it is.”

Many Republicans do wear masks and follow their state guidelines. The problem is that there is a pattern of Republican-led states who are not mandating mask wearing which could save lives. According to the BBC, “The disease has been spreading rapidly in recent weeks in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia and other conservative, Republican-leaning states where economies opened up early and where people are less likely to wear masks.” 

President-Elect Joseph Biden has been a strong proponent of mask-wearing. “It doesn’t matter who you voted for, where you stood before Election Day. It doesn’t matter your party or your point of view,” he said. “We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months.” 

There needs to be more awareness of COVID-19 and a national collective effort to combat the issue. If there isn’t, this cycle will never end and from the looks of things now it is just getting a lot worse. It is important to  to listen to the health officials because they know best when it comes to this virus and there is a lot of proof that states that masks make a huge impact to stop the spread of the virus, we just need people to stop thinking about themselves and actually consider others and their safety and to just wear a mask.