Masks: a necessary evil

They’re not the most comfortable, but they’re the most safe


Masks. They make it hard to breathe, can be uncomfortable, and can irritate skin. While these all can be difficulties to wearing a mask, it is still important to wear masks when in public settings. 

First, by wearing masks, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and limit the case numbers. Obviously wearing masks will not end the pandemic, but we will get closer to containing the disease. For example, when states started to mandate the wearing of masks in public gatherings, “230,000-450,000 cases may have been averted by May 22,” as stated in the Health Affairs study on masks. While these are approximations, they show that we can limit case numbers by wearing masks. With more people wearing masks, you and everyone else will be protected, and the U.S. will be more likely to properly control the spread of COVID-19. 

Second, while we might not be severely impacted by COVID-19, we can be key in spreading it to people who are more susceptible. While everyone is technically susceptible, people of older age are impacted more severely by COVID-19, and our chances of having excruciating symptoms are slim comparatively. We can contract COVID-19 and either have symptoms or be asymptotic. We may carry it without even knowing and spread it to others when we don’t wear masks. 

We can control this spread by wearing masks at all times when in public settings, such as school, parks, or anywhere where there are other people who are not living in your household. So while a mask may not be the ideal accessory for your outfit, it will definitely be the safest accessory you have on.