Masks: A Necessary Inconvenience


Ms. Branna

Ms. Eschbach and Mrs. Mitchell wear their masks at the June 12 Senior Sendoff. You can’t see it, but they are definitely smiling.

Brooke Powers, Staff Writer, Wildcat Pause

Covid-19 threw a curveball to everyone’s lifestyles. People want to get back to their normal lives but can’t until the virus cases drop to almost none or there is a vaccine. One way to attempt to get back to a semi-normal life is to wear masks.
On April 17, Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, put an executive law in place stating anyone over the age of two must wear a mask in public when social distancing can’t be maintained. As of June 1, wearing masks in public was required in the majority of states. Most people follow these recommendations; however, others don’t.
According to CNET Health and Wellness, the states that masks are only a recommendation as of June 1 are Alaska, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
Mask wearing is important because it slows down the spread of the virus. You don’t wear a mask to protect yourself, you wear a mask to protect those around you from getting the virus. This is why people are upset when someone doesn’t wear a mask in public. President Donald Trump is one of those people who refused to wear a mask. On May 21, Trump went to a Ford Motor meeting and did not wear a mask. Everyone there was all masked up except for Trump. Trump stated in CNBC news article that, “I had one [a mask] on before,” in an area that was not visible to reporters, but added, “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, believes mask wearing is important and everyone should wear a mask in public, especially in stores.
According to an article by Veronica Stracqualursi, a journalist for CNN, Fauci stated, “I want to protect myself and protect others [by wearing a mask], and also because I want to make it a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.”
Fauci said mask wearing isn’t 100 percent effective; however, he feels that people should wear them out of respect for others and it is a valuable safeguard.
The state of New York launched a public service campaign urging New Yorkers to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to an article in The Hill, Cuomo stated, “It seems like a simple thing, wearing a mask, . . . and it’s apparently so simple that people think it’s of no consequence. It happens to be of tremendous consequence.”
If everyone stopped wearing masks and life returned to normal, there could be a huge spike in cases, and then lives wouldn’t go back to normal for months. Senior Micheal Turecamo said he has seen about 10 people per day not wearing masks while shopping at local stores.
Senior Terrence Nolan said from what he sees, “the vast majority of people are wearing masks out in public, except for in parks and on empty roads.”
Sophomore Nina Kelban follows the mask rules for the safety of others, but she doesn’t like to wear them. “I hate having something covering my face and having barriers between everyone,” Kelban said.
Sophomore Chris Domiano and Kelban both said mask wearing has decreased as the pandemic continues. Domiano thinks that people are wearing masks less because the pandemic has gone on for too long, which is known as mask fatigue. He also said people are starting to care less than when it started.
Kelban agrees. “[There are fewer people wearing masks] now because I think people are sick of the isolation and just want to be able to interact normally,” she said. Kelban said she believes that the majority of people are trying their best to stay safe and to keep others safe.
Turecamo believes mask wearing has increased throughout the pandemic.
There are “more [mask wearers] than when the virus began; probably due to the stores refusing entry to those without masks,” Turecamo said. In early May, stores like Target, Stop and Shop, Walmart, and Shoprite started requiring people to wear masks in their stores at all times.
The majority of people feel that they should wear masks for other people’s safety, yet others find wearing masks annoying and don’t think they protect as well as they should. Nolan is on the same page as Fauci and feels that although mask wearing is not ideal, he will still wear one.
“I think wearing a mask gives a false sense of security. The types of masks people wear, such as a surgeon mask, only block out sneezes and coughs. They do not block out Covid-19,” Nolan said.
Nolan said that with the gaps and spaces between the mask and the wearer’s face, he is concerned that the disease can be transmitted, whereas Turecamo feels that mask wearing makes him feel “safe but not invincible.”
“When I wear a mask in public I feel that it is helping to keep the virus down,” Domiano said, even though he doesn’t feel it is 100 percent efficient. Dominano said it’s “weird” when someone doesn’t wear a mask.
Another negative is that masks are uncomfortable, and as the weather gets hotter, not only will it be hard to breathe but the masks will absorb sweat. “When I am out on a bike ride it will be harder to breathe,” Domiano said.
Turecamo said it will be even harder to get people to wear a mask in the summer especially to places like the beach and other fun summer locations where social distancing cannot be observed. According to Nolan, “Wearing a mask in the summer is annoying since your supply of oxygen is reduced.”
Turecamo said wearing a mask is a simple thing to do and that everyone should do it. If everyone wears a mask, people will be able to go back to reality more quickly than if some do and others don’t.
“Given the individual has access to one, the more people who play into the safety net, the quicker the virus can be virtually eradicated,” Turecamo said.