Masks are a must to combat COVID

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Photo courtesy of Allyson Alvarado

Allyson Alvarado, Guest Columnist

COVID-19 has changed the way many in the United States live day-to-day, and maybe the biggest change is the wearing of masks which has become a point of controversy.

California first issued a shelter-in-place order in March and many residents immediately panicked, causing them to buy out stocks, not only of masks but of other personal protective equipment as well.

We are now approaching the seventh month of quarantine yet masks continue to be a divisive topic. A common argument against wearing a mask is that it infringes on personal rights; therefore, many on social media make a point of going to public places by not wearing a mask.

This is ridiculous. People who refuse to wear masks when in close proximity to others are causing unnecessary cases of COVID. 

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have spent years researching and preparing methods to minimize the spread of multiple illnesses. So when both of these agencies tell the public wearing a mask helps, why would anyone ignore that? Now is the time to worry about others, not only yourself.

Masks are necessary to control the spread of bodily fluids that may contain viruses or other germs from escaping from the nose and mouth. You can carry and spread the virus without showing symptoms, and going out without a mask allows the virus to spread. 

According to the CDC

“Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.”

For things to return to normal, we have to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and listen to the CDC’s guidelines. All political opinions and beliefs need to be thrown aside, we need to worry about the well-being of others as well as our own. To return to our pre-COVID lives, masks are a must.