26 May Covering All the Bases: The Reasons Masks Make a Difference
Wearing a mask is a new normal. Even if you don’t want to accept that, it is the new way of the world at this time. And until there are treatments for COVID-19, face masks aren’t going anywhere.
I decided to write about the importance of wearing masks and how to properly wear them when I started to see so many people refuse to wear them. Below are reasons I’ve heard for not wearing masks:
- “I’m not sick.”
- “They’re too uncomfortable. I just can’t.”
- “I’m not at risk so I am not worried to get the Coronavirus.”
- “It goes against my Constitutional rights.”
Here’s the scoop on the Coronavirus and wearing masks: It’s not about you! Wearing a mask protects OTHERS, not yourself. When worn correctly, your mask keeps the virus from spreading if you are asymptomatic. The way I see it, it is a form of respect to those around me. If you choose to be around me without a mask, you are personally disrespecting me. You are saying that my wellbeing isn’t a significant concern to you. That may seem excessive, but put yourself in my shoes. I’m high risk and live with other at-risk individuals. My concerns and fears of this virus attacking those I love are very high on my priority list.
I’m starting to notice that opinions on masks are either you’re completely for it or completely against it. There really isn’t any gray area on this matter. And reasonings for not wearing the mask don’t hold much weight with me. I am the first to tell you wearing a mask is not comfortable. I have worn them many times. I’ve been in a labor rooms with them and in operating rooms with them. They are annoying and aggravating at times. But never did I feel I had the right to compromise my patient’s wellbeing for my comfort in those situations. Wearing a mask can help someone else not get infected; it’s that simple.
Here’s a fact I want you to understand: When people speak, they spit. Even if you don’t notice it, small particles leave your mouth when you talk. If you need more of a breakdown—spit carries germs. When we speak to one another, germs can spread. Wearing masks has shown a decrease in the spread of the virus. Further, wearing a mask doesn’t mean we can then ignore social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to state that wearing the mask AND social distancing of at least 6 feet are two important actions we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.
As our quarantine regulations are starting to lift throughout the country, take these facts you’re learning and ponder them a bit. Take into account the wellbeing of those you are coming in contact with. And if someone you come across asks you to put a mask on, don’t take offense. They want to interact with you—remember that. They are giving you options so that they feel comfortable to be around you in these uncertain times. There is a lot of fear, but try to look at wearing a mask as a way to help the community, not a way to further injure it.
The way we wear masks and gloves is also very important. Believe it or not, medical professionals actually get trained how to do this for the hospital setting. The videos below are there to inform you of how to properly use masks and gloves. Remember, when wearing a mask, you need to cover your mouth AND nose. Although it is more comfortable to have your nose out, that is not the correct way to wear face masks. You are not protecting anyone with your nose exposed.
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