COLUMN: Please wear a mask

Logan Raschke, Senior Designer

Since this pandemic started, just about every person I’ve spoken with, democrat or republican or anything in between, has said the same thing: COVID-19 and wearing masks should not be politicized, yet they still are.

As more and more small businesses, grocery stores and schools adopt strict mask policies until the positive cases of COVID-19 go down, contention and anger continue to manifest within seemingly every community in the nation.

On one side, people are practically begging everyone to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On the other, people are upset with the mask policies, claiming they’re infringing on their basic human rights.

Why is wearing a mask in public such an awful policy to have? Why is it such a heated topic? It’s mind-boggling to me.

Collectively, we all need to do our part and wear masks in public. It’s the right thing to do.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend individuals to wear a mask and socially distance whenever they’re out in public.

The cloth masks act as a literal “barrier,” helping to block respiratory droplets, according to the CDC.

People can sometimes be asymptomatic as well, meaning they have no symptoms of COVID-19 but still have contracted it anyway. That’s why everyone is encouraged to wear masks, not just those who know for sure or believe they have COVID-19.

However, not everyone should wear masks.

The CDC also says that children under 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing or anyone who is “unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance” should not wear them.

I know there are going to be people reading this thinking, “Well, why should I trust the CDC? The organization has been changing its recommendations since this pandemic started.”

I know it can be frustrating and confusing sometimes, but please understand that this is a very new disease. The CDC will not have all the answers immediately.

As more testing continues, the CDC is likely to revise or completely change some of its recommendations. That’s just how it is.

In any case, wearing a mask is taking the safest solution (besides total quarantine), so this type of argument is invalid.

In an online interview with the Journal of American Medical Association, Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said that the rise in COVID-19 cases could be controlled within four to six weeks if people would wear masks as recommended.

It seems so easy, but for some reason it’s not.

I can’t think of anyone I know who enjoys wearing a mask.

Sometimes it is difficult to breathe, especially when doing a lot of physical work. It is a hassle to retrieve it again once it has been forgotten.

But what’s worse? Wearing a mask and being inconvenienced or not wearing one and getting sick and possibly even spreading it to others?

It’s a no-brainer to me: While wearing masks in public is inconvenient, it’s more important to contribute to the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. There is no debate.

So please, when you see people in public wearing masks, leave them be.

So please, when you see a sign in a store that says “We require masks,” put on your mask.

So please, when you see a post about wearing masks that you disagree with, think of what’s more important. There’s no question: The safest avenue is wearing a mask.

Logan Raschke is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].