Mask up

Don't be selfish, wear a protective covering to stop the spread

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the U.S. and schools were shut down, I panicked. My family and I went into quarantine so we could protect my grandparents and stay safe. Once people started to make masks for hospitals and to sell them so people could leave the house safely, my mom, sister and I jumped on the train and made as many masks as we could.

Every day the virus numbers climb higher and higher. Since Sept. 3, the number of cases has risen 236, and the number of deaths rose by one. Besides quarantining, one way to stay safe is wearing a mask. On July 9, masks became a requirement in Marion County, and there are people who still don’t wear a mask or who won’t wear it correctly.

Going out into public, I see people wearing their masks under their chin, under their nose, hanging on their ear or not even wearing one at all. I do understand that sometimes it becomes hard to breathe, but the people who choose to not wear a mask are just making a selfish choice in my opinion.

Not wearing masks can spread. the virus faster and people may not even know it. According to U.S. News, 25% of the people who contract COVID-19 may not show symptoms. That 25% is what is keeping the number of coronavirus cases high because if they’re not wearing a mask, and they don’t feel sick, then they don’t feel the need to wear one. The mask keeps COVID-19 particles to oneself and away from others. It also keeps healthy people from becoming sick, but most importantly, it helps keep the people who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus safe.

It is hard to go to the store and point out all of the people who are at high risk of the virus. The masks are what help keep those people safe because they cannot put their lives on hold. According to the CDC if everyone wore a mask it would protect others by the masks making a barrier from their respiratory droplets. This would allow the virus to not spread as fast, if everyone wore one in public. And people need to put on a mask while around others in general, not just when they are less than six feet away. Masks will provide that extra protection we all need.

To me, the masks have become the new normal. I don’t go anywhere without them because I don’t feel safe. The virus is a real thing, and it can be deadly, so I don’t see how people just don’t wear a mask when masks are the key to saving lives and ending this pandemic.

If people have to work and wear a mask for a long period of time, and especially if little kids at school have to wear it seven hours every day, five days a week, then everyone can do it.