Masks on campus

No matter how you feel about mask wearing, it's pretty clear that this will be a part of our daily lives for the foreseeable future. And, honestly? I don’t get why people complain about it so much. It’s just a piece of fabric you wear on your face. Yes, covering your nose. But it isn’t like it stops you from breathing. If it does bother you just buy one that fits you better. You can buy them in pretty much any style, print, or fit you want to wear. Some of them are actually pretty cute and I coordinate them with my outfits. With so many options available to you, what is the big fuss some people make about wearing one?

Masks can pretty much be made out of any material you want them to be made of. It doesn’t have to be medical grade to be effective. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be, those are in high demand for those who risk their lives every day caring for COVID-19 patients. You can make one out of a bandana or buy one online. I got most of mine made by my friends who sew. They are so highly available now that getting one should not be a problem.

As for the argument that they stop you from being able to breathe, that simply isn’t true. It might be a little uncomfortable, but you’ll get used to it. I often forget that I’m even wearing one now. As long as your mask fits you correctly, breathing shouldn’t be a problem for the majority of people. This isn’t to say that no one has a legitimate medical concern that prevents them from wearing a mask. A small amount of people do, and that means the rest of us who CAN wear masks SHOULD wear them to prevent us from spreading the virus to vulnerable people. Because at the end of the day, the masks are there to protect those of us who are susceptible to the horrible complications that COVID-19 can cause.

Masks are important because they stop us from spreading the virus to others. According to the CDC, ‘ Multi-layer cloth masks can both block up to 50-70 percent of these fine droplets and particles 3,14 and limit the forward spread of those that are not captured.5,6,15,16 Upwards of 80 percent blockage has been achieved in human experiments that have measured blocking of all respiratory droplets, 4 with cloth masks in some studies performing on par with surgical masks as barriers for source control.’ Basically, it’s a scientific fact that masks stop the spread of the virus.

I’m honestly pretty proud of this campus as a whole. I’ve seen so many people wearing masks when they should and wearing them correctly. I’ve seen a lot of people also wearing masks even when it’s in an area where mask wearing isn’t strictly enforced. For the most part, we’ve handled this pandemic pretty well. All things considered, the majority of people on this campus appear to be taking the policies in stride. Whether that’s because they agree with them or they just don’t want the campus to be shut down, I’m not sure. Either way, I’m glad that a lot of people are wearing their masks.

Regardless of how you feel about masks, social distancing guidelines should be enforced for the foreseeable future. Even though life has largely gone back to the way it was before the shutdown, the pandemic is still very much real and more out of control than ever. Everyone has a part to play in keeping yourself and others safe, and that includes wearing a mask correctly in any public place.

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