The year-long debate: to mask or not to mask

Madelyn Kidd, Editor-in-Chief

A year ago, America would’ve thought the past year to be a great movie plot and nothing more. However, the way COVID-19 has impacted the country shows this is more serious than a movie, but something that even the movie plot would never have predicted are Americans’ refusal to use the preventive measures scientifically proven to work.

At the beginning when masks were recommended to be worn for protection to others, many Americans were outraged. Declaring how enforcing wearing a mask is unconstitutional and goes against their rights as an American citizen. Since now there seems to be an Amendment preventing the government from enforcing Americans to do what they say such as what they already do with taxes, laws, regulations, etc. 

Then when scientific studies were done researching the benefits of masks, American citizens were almost ready to accept that the government can enforce a mask-mandate, so it was turned into a political agenda. All of the sudden, Republicans can never wear masks or they’re not a “real” Republican, and Democrats have to wear a mask or they’re not a “real” Democrat. Who decided this? Who decided in the middle of a pandemic where people are dying and we have no idea how long this virus would last that America needs another political agenda? 

Despite confusion over what the government can and can’t do along with a political agenda, it is proven for a fact that masks are important and protect the people near you. While research has shown you wearing a mask doesn’t protect yourself very well, research has also shown that it protects the people around you from yourself. Even though you wearing a mask doesn’t help yourself, people need to wear masks to protect others. There seems to be a belief that if it doesn’t benefit me from this then I’m not going to do it. However, it does benefit you. Wearing a mask shows you care and respect about those around you and can encourage those around you to respect and care about you and put on a mask to protect you from them.

Ultimately, the scientific research behind wearing a mask to prevent others from getting sick isn’t debatable. Why else would doctors wear masks during surgeries if it doesn’t help prevent the spread of infection? Therefore, please show respect towards others and their safety and wear a mask.

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