The difference the face mask makes

Barbara Lunsford, Copy Editor

Over the last couple of months, some people going out in public have decided to wear masks over their faces. This is one response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it is easy to question whether or not such a simple addition to one’s routine is actually acting to protect them from potential germs that could infect and isolate them. As there is with most things in life, these face masks have their own pros and cons.

A lot of professionals think the usage of face masks does nothing for people who have yet to be affected by what is currently going on. For Healthline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, says, “A face mask should be used by people who have Covid-19 and are showing symptoms.”

With each passing day, new information is made public and introduced in an effort to head back to normal life. On the CDC’s site, a “cloth face covering” has been suggested, regardless of one’s health status, if they plan on being around others in their community. Those experiencing off symptoms are still the ones most recommended to incorporate these masks into their lives. 

According to The Guardian, “viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate masks.” So, for those who wish to live free of Covid-19, it is safer to stay home as much as possible. Masks do not completely eliminate risks that come from contact with other people. They do, on the other hand, make a difference when it comes to hospitals and those who can spread Covid-19. It is important to remember health care workers need face masks. Bulk buyers of these necessary items can be causing harm to workers in need.

At the end of the day, it is a personal decision on whether or not to wear masks. For people who wish to, the World Health Organization says, “Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.” There are guidelines to follow in order to add to the mask’s effectiveness. 

Another option for wearing masks is making one at home. Many websites have uploaded tutorials on how to do so, often using cloth materials and things like bandannas. Shifting towards a make-it-yourself approach can not only help those in desperate need of store-bought masks but also increase one’s feeling of security if they like the idea of face masks.

Regardless of one’s personal safety preferences, it is important to remember that the key to getting through difficult times can simply be to stick together. With social isolation, communication virtually can help feelings of boredom and loneliness that are easy to come by right now. And for those who do go out, mask or not, some precautions should be taken. If a mask is going to make one feel more comfortable, then they should definitely try making one that they can use.