Politics of a Mask


If a person has been on the internet lately, they may have noticed the ongoing trend of certain videos or articles of another person being kicked out of an establishment due to them not wearing a garment that, according to the CDC, “may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.” The infamous mask, the controversial piece of cloth that some people claim to be taking away their rights, has consistently had more reasoning to be worn as time goes on. However, many people refuse to wear them, so it is time to discuss both sides of the coin.

Videos have been circulating online about people arguing that the wearing of a mask is taking away their rights. The reasoning for said argument has usually been that it is not a law, rather a mandate. The difference between the two is that the mandate is an official order given by authority, not constitutional law. Others say that the virus may be fake or a hoax, however, there have been about 1.29 million confirmed cases in California. Cases for not wearing a mask include “If other people are wearing them, why should I?” and “I can’t breathe in that thing.”

According to Emily Gard, a clinical social worker specializing in behavioral health counseling in Fargo, North Dakota, “Wearing a mask really has no impact on our overall quality and ability to breathe. Sometimes there can be a perception that it may be difficult, but the research shows us there is no change in our ability to breathe.” Despite this, there is no excuse to not wear a mask. To put the rumors to bed, the virus is real. And, we need to wear our masks, not only because it is a mandate but for the respect and safety of others.

Graph of current confirmed COVID-19 cases provided by Google as of December 11th, 2020.

As previously mentioned, wearing a mask “may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.” However, this only applies to those who wear their mask correctly when in public. The CDC recommends washing your hands before putting on your mask so as to not get it dirty, which is even more important now after the statement they made about COVID-19 being able to live on certain surfaces, even clothing. You also must make sure that the mask reaches the side of your face along with going underneath your chin, securing your mouth and nose, so that you will not get any respiratory drops on another person or have the chance to get them on yourself. For those who do not know why this is important, “Respiratory Drops” are produced when someone “cough[s], sneeze[s], sing[s], talk[s], and or breathe[s], ” and is the main way that this virus is spread amongst a large number of people. The CDC also recommends not to wear masks with an exhalation valve and or vent. Though, yes, you should be wearing a mask, it is better that you also still stay six-feet apart from people to keep yourself and others safe. Make sure you have a habit of frequently washing your hands and using hand sanitizer whenever possible. Though people’s opinions may be that a mask is a restriction or even a violation of rights, it is simply a sign of respect. Truthfully, it is just a way to try and prevent you and your loved ones from catching this sickness. 

Mask Mandatory Sign provided by PublicDomainVectors.

To put it frankly, this virus is not going to end at the snap of someone’s fingers. It is going to take a good amount of effort from people everywhere to keep safe and clean. Though this pandemic seems like it is never-ending and the impatience of wanting to get back to normal is growing, it will get better eventually. As a country and as a world, we will return to normal and live our lives with a bit more caution. If you want to know how to find all these facts, visit the CDC website. If you are having trouble with your mental health during this time, contact our student support page, The Oiler Calm Room, where you can find a link to virtually contact resources and school psychologists. For the current status of COVID-19 in the US, visit the COVID Data Tracker.