My Mask Protects You; Your Masks Protect Me - Just My Opinion

My Mask Protects You; Your Masks Protect Me - Just My Opinion

Posted: 2020-05-23 11:21:16 By: thebay

The following Editorial is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent those of Hunters Bay Radio:

Wearing masks when in retail stores or while using public transit has become a somewhat divisive issue. 

On one side are the people who maintain that any mask other than the N95 (which health care professionals wear) is neither effective nor safe.  On the other side are those who believe that any added layer of protection is a good idea.

Those who argue against the mandatory use of masks say that healthy or asymptomatic people don’t need masks.  These cotton masks we see everywhere interfere with normal breathing, and contaminated or moist masks are just germ carriers, kind of like carrying a Petri dish in front of your face, they say.  Masks can irritate wearers, causing them to touch their face more often and increase the risk of infection.  And they may also provide a false sense of security, leading wearers to do riskier things such as going into crowded places.

Those who advocate for the mandatory use of masks in places where social distancing is not always possible say that, while wearing a cotton mask will not protect you from getting infected, it can help prevent transmission to others.  It’s easier to avoid getting soaked with a hose if you turn the water off at the tap rather than try to dodge the spray, they say.  And if we lower the likelihood of one person’s infecting another even a little bit, the impact is exponential.  Wearing a mask is a 'public good', something we do to benefit everyone.  But it only works if everyone is doing it.

There’s another aspect to consider as well.  Many people have said that they feel safer when those around them are wearing masks.  Critics say that these cotton masks are nothing more than a comfort prop.  I’m thinking, what’s wrong with that?  We live in a community.  These are stressful times and folks are anxious.  If an easy thing like wearing a mask when you’re in close contact with people makes members of our community feel more secure, then as good members of society, maybe we ought to do it. 

Just my opinion - Ruby Truax