Masks won’t save you from COVID-19

Courtesy Tribune News Service

The world has been hit with a tragedy: an illness that has the potential to escalate into a pandemic and whose antivirus is a year or two in the making. This has become the tragedy of the coronavirus. 

As people are spending weeks in quarantine and in hospitals due to the unrelenting characteristics of this virus, those of us privileged enough to have escaped the clutches of this illness are acting in irrational and dangerous ways. 

People are buying masks to prevent catching the virus and are limiting, even ceasing interaction with people for fear of getting this deadly virus. Granted, I understand the fear and I know that it is deadly, but it has also come to a point where irrational behavior could lead to the worst possible outcome. 

I do not ask for people to continue living their lives as if there weren’t a deadly virus spreading around the globe. I just ask for people to do one thing: do not buy masks. 

Though masks are helpful for those who are sick or have to interact with those who are sick everyday, they do nothing for the layperson who will most likely not come into contact with someone infected with the coronavirus. Masks need to be reserved for those who are sick and for doctors, nurses and other health professionals. 

The sick need them to ensure that they limit their ability to spread the virus to other people who may not be infected (i.e. family members, friends and health professionals).

Those who are health professionals need the masks to limit their chances of catching the virus from those they are treating. Because they are in direct, intimate contact with these patients, health professionals are at an extremely high risk of contracting the illness themselves.

The layperson is in less need of a mask because of the limited, if any, contact they will have with someone who is infected. 

So, I urge everyone to abide by the normal rules surrounding illnesses: wash your hands regularly, wash your surfaces and only buy a mask if you or someone you know is infected. 

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