Should You really wear masks? by Clio Koh

Because of COVID-19, more people than ever are staying home in fear of catching the virus. Still, people need to leave the house now and then for reasons such as walking the dog or grocery shopping. So other than giving everyone you see a wide 6ft berth and hoping for the best, masks have been presented as another way to self protect. The controversy surrounding wearing masks consist mainly of concerns that masks won’t be 100 percent foolproof and may provide a false sense of security to its wearer.

Meanwhile, the official guidance is conflicted. Though the World Health Organization stated on their website that people only need to wear masks if they’re “coughing and sneezing,” the United States’ Centre for Diseases Control advised everyone to wear a mask.

When students and teachers of LOHS are asked in a survey if they are wearing masks, most respond yes. “As most people know, masks mostly prevent the person wearing them from spreading COVID-19. So if everyone wore them, there would be a much smaller infection rate,” said Lauren Zhang, freshman.

Like Zhang, English teacher Julie Davis believes masks are essential to flatten the curve. “I know there are people who think that since so many survive this sickness, it’s not all that bad. While I can understand wanting to downplay the anxiety of it all, it’s essential to understand this systemically.”

“You [wearing a mask] reduce your risk of catching this illness by 30 percent,” science teacher Rachel Popp explained, “if both you and an infected person are wearing masks the risk of spread is reduced by over 90 percent”

And everyone has a responsibility to prevent the virus from spreading. “Because you don’t know if you’re sick unless you’ve been tested. I think that everyone should assume that they are sick so as to prevent the spread as much as possible,” freshman Lily Schrimsher said.

“Face masks are more designed to keep a contaminated person from spreading a disease to others by coughing/sneezing,” freshman Cyndee Li agreed. “but it is never a bad idea to have more extra protection.”

In the end, Davis reminded us of who we are taking the precaution for- our family and friends. “[Does wearing a mask] feel stupid—sure. Do I miss people’s smiles? Yes! But I still do it because I care about the world and it’s the least I can do to help out. [I’ll] think about my friends in the medical field who are fighting this right now or I think about my stubborn parents in Florida who are old and fragile and I put on my mask.”

For information about the correct way of wearing masks, watch the video below.

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