Mask mandates continue to spark different views


Photo submitted by Molly O'shea

Molly O’shea and her neighbors are seen following the guidelines and wearing a mask when 6 feet is not accessible. She is still able to be social while maintaining the guidelines.

As more people educate themselves on the virus of COVID – 19, different beliefs arise on whether the government should enforce a mask mandate, or give people the freedom of choice. With many states such as Iowa, North Dakota and Mississippi beginning to remove the mask mandate, this is leaving a gap between individuals who believe Minnesota should begin to loosen the rules, or enforce them. The mask mandate is supposedly used to not only protect oneself, but others as well. However, recent studies show, wearing a mask is not a guarantee for protection, many other practices must be in place. 

Precautions put into place to slow the virus include: staying at home, properly wearing the correct face mask and practicing social distancing. Since the pandemic began, there have been over 25 million confirmed COVID – 19 cases, with hospital cases continuing to decrease by more than 112,000 cases a week.

However, improvement in case numbers is not enough. Herd immunity has not been reached, and there are many unknowns on how to correctly keep others safe. The effectiveness of the singular mask is now under question, leaving people concerned and confused.

Parent *Frank D explained, “The actual effectiveness of masks has not been proven. In fact, Dr. Fauci initially said that there was no reason people needed to wear masks. Now he says to wear two masks. Most masks are worn incorrectly, people constantly touch their face with dirty hands, and most likely masks cause more harm than good.” 

The effectiveness of a mask depends upon how it is made, and how it is worn. Unless rules are properly followed, and the correct mask is worn, the mandate is being used as an ineffective band-aid put on the situation to make people feel better. 

Along with the effectiveness of the mask not being proven, there are negative side effects and health concerns. Restriction of airflow, which can be dangerous for anyone with asthma or respiratory conditions, is a concern when wearing a mask, especially dangerous in athletes. 

Sophomore student Matthew Whisler explained that when wearing a mask during sports, he finds it challenging. It is difficult to breathe and it interferes with the line of vision during the game. This put himself and the team at high risk for injuries.

In addition, factors associated with kids wearing masks have been found in other sports. Parents have reported their children were involved in raging collisions and passing out spells during the games and practices. 

With the mask mandate, studies have shown the mask is not in fact protecting from the virus, instead, it is causing small health issues. Due to all that people are giving up, they need evidence to see that their actions and sacrifices are making a difference.

We are in this together and wearing a mask is a way of being good to one another.

— Molly O'Shea

Teacher and mother Molly O’Shea shared that wearing a mask is about humanity.

“We are in this together and wearing a mask is a way of being good to one another. Cashiers are counting on customers to wear a mask, stay back, not shop if they are sick. Dentists are counting on others to quarantine after trips, cancel appointments if they are ill, or have been exposed to someone who is. We need each person to do their part. People’s lives depend on it,” O’Shea explained,

While people have a common desire to do their part to stop the virus and save others, they also want the satisfaction of knowing the mask is contributing to a positive outcome. 

In an effort to help control the spread of the virus, along with wearing the correct mask, the nation’s leaders must also take precautionary steps. News reports state Biden recently has allowed a large number of immigrants into the borders of the nation without making COVID-19 testing mandatory. Allowing possible COVID-19 cases into the country can increase the risk of spread. 

“Rather than requiring masks, it would be more effective if the Biden administration wasn’t about to allow 25,000 + illegal aliens surge across the border without requiring Covid tests,” Frank added.

This increases the risk of spread and possible variants of the virus spreading in those parts of the nation where immigrants enter.

Wearing masks during sports has negative health effects. It has also been shown that wearing masks incorrectly in public increases the risk of spread. Nevertheless, if the rules of social distance are followed, the mask is worn correctly, and the leaders of the country put their citizen’s health first, a bright future is hopeful. The mask may cause a false sense of security, but if individuals feel safe, it is best to obey the mandate for the comfort and respect of others. 

It is apparent that the division between the pro mask and anti-mask believers will remain. Furthermore, society as a whole can agree on a common thing, to do part and work together to control the spread of the virus and return America to the new normal. 

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the source.*