Masks are the easiest way to slow the spread of COVID-19

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Photo by Ava Fugate

Home Goods in Woodbury has required masks upon entry into the store. This is what is posted on the entrance of the store. Masks need to be mandatory at all stores.

Masks are the most effective and easily available solution to slowing down the spread of COVID-19, yet wearing them is still not mandatory everywhere because of the controversy surrounding mask wearing. Masks need to be made mandatory to control this pandemic.

Those not in favor of masks believe it is against their rights. Many restaurant post a signs that read, “No shirt, No shoes, No service”. If that is not against anyone’s rights, then wearing a mask should also not be a problem. 

“There’s evidence emerging that mask wearing may decrease viral load, thus boosting immunity,” science teacher Stacy Barlett said. This contradicts the thought of mask wearing not being beneficial to the wearer.

Some researchers believe wearing a mask can expose wearers to smaller, less harmful doses of COVID-19, which sparks an immune response. Without the masks, people are coming in contact with much larger doses of Covid-19, causing contraction and then passing it on. Wearing the mask is beneficial by boosting immunity, keeping safe those around from the mask wearer and can possibly keeping the mask wearer safe from contracting it.

Junior Marly Boules said she thinks masks are effective because the N-95 masks are designed to block 95% of small particles. 

Masks are a form of source control from the mask wearer. It controls the amount of particles coming out of and onto or into those around. Although people can benefit from wearing a mask, it is more effective in keeping others safe. Masks prevent larger expelled droplets  from becoming smaller droplets that will travel farther, thus keeping those around people safe.

Bartlett explained whether masks are effective in keeping the community safe, “Yes. And the fact that we are still operating in hybrid mode in a school with over 2000 kids is pretty strong evidence.”

Masks should be required in public in order to keep everyone safe and lower the chance of infecting everyone.”

— Marly Boules

The strongest evidence of showing masks effectiveness is real life instances. Without masks being required at schools, all would be shut down and only online. There are 115,000 cases of coronavirus in Minnesota right now and over 2,000 deaths, all the precautions to slow down the spread need to be taken or this number will increase. Wearing a mask is one of the easiest precautions to take and has lots of scientific evidence to support it.

 “Masks should be required in public in order to keep everyone safe and lower the chance of infecting everyone,” Boules said. She believes it is the best way to protect everyone from infection.

In a case recently looked at in late May, two hair stylists in Missouri had close contact with 140 clients while sick with COVID-19. Everyone including them had wore a mask and all of the clients tested negative for Covid-19.

Jason Dixion shared a differing perspective on requiring masks, “It’s made up by politicians it will be over when the election is.” 

COVID-19 being a hoax has been a very popular conspiracy amongst anti-maskers. In the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC did not enforce wearing a mask and has now switched guidance and in recommending it saying the more people wearing masks the better. 

That could be quite confusing and Dixion asked, “If they say you have to wear one, why have we not had to wear one in March to keep people safe?” 

For the sole purpose of a better and healthier future, making a mask mandate is the best option for the United States. It  will slow the spread of Covid-19 tremendously. For this pandemic to end the necessary precautions need to be taken to keep people safe. 

As Bartlett said, “Life is full of gives-and-takes and when it comes to safety (like wearing shoes or a seat belt), it doesn’t take a scientist to see the benefit to the greater good.”