The Importance of Wearing Masks during Covid-19 As of 2020, Novel coronavirus has spread at an alarming rate, killing hundreds of thousands of people over the span of a few months (Begley). To minimize the likelihood of contracting or spreading disease during a pandemic, individuals must cooperate with authorities by taking rigorous safety measures. Whether you are taking a morning stroll in your neighbourhood, buying groceries, going to work, or taking the local bus, simple activities can easily transmit Covid-19 from one person to another. Following advice from public health officials is necessary to protect yourself, your family, and those in your community (Bai). Since wearing a mask can prevent people who have Covid-19 from spreading the virus to others, it can reduce death and psychological problems amid lockdown, and promote supply and demand in the economy (Cambell). The mechanisms of a mask can limit virus transmission by preventing Covid-19 carriers from expelling respiratory droplets. Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist, stresses the importance of wearing a mask—even if you think you do not have novel coronavirus—to protect everyone (Bai). Hong states: "I think there's enough evidence to say that the best benefit is for people who have COVID-19 to protect them from giving COVID-19 to other people, but you're still going to get a benefit from wearing a mask if you don't have COVID-19" (Bai). Since the virus is not visible to the naked eye, it is almost impossible to tell which person has the virus and who does not, especially since many people may be asymptomatic carriers. Who knows? Maybe even your next-door neighbour, who only goes out to buy groceries, could be infected with Covid-19. South Korea finds that the mortality rate in Covid-19 patients in their country is higher in elderly patients due to their weakened immune system compared to younger patients: the death rate in Covid-19 patients ages 80 and over was 10.4% and the rate in patients ages 29 and younger was nearly zero (Begley). So, although you may think that Covid-19 will not affect you if you are young, you should think about your elderly neighbours whose lives are at stake whenever you go out without a mask. Protecting yourself from contracting a virus will also protect those in your community. Furthermore, the Institute of Health Metrics reinforces the importance of wearing masks: "...Evaluation suggests that 33,000 deaths could be avoided by October 1 if 95 percent of people wore masks in public" (Bai). Many deaths can be prevented by covering your mouth and nose securely with a mask.
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- Fall '19
- Infectious Disease, Begley