Writer+Matthew+M+discusses+the+importance+of+wearing+a+mask+in+an+opinion+piece.

Colleen J.

OPINION — The Importance of Wearing a mask

Recently in the news, you might have heard about the Republicans and Democrats fighting over masks and politicizing them. I believe that all Americans should wear masks and it should not be a symbol of you being Republican or Democrat. Mask wearing would help return some normalcy to our lives, help save the economy, and most importantly, save lives. 

Lives would be saved by wearing face masks. According to marketwatch.com, America’s COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. could reach nearly 300,000 by Dec. 1. However, consistent mask-wearing beginning today could save approximately 70,000 lives, according to new projections based on current fatality and infection rates from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (HME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. Something as simple as a face mask could save tens of thousands of lives. We should be willing to try anything that could help save lives. According to CNN “another 134,000 people could die in the US from COVID-19 by December if no further safety measures are mandated — and the actual number probably would be much worse if mandates are relaxed, researchers say.” Human lives should never be risked unless absolutely necessary. 

Our lives could return to normal more rapidly. Who doesn’t want to have our lives return to what they were before? Wearing face masks would put us in the right direction. “In the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, few could have predicted the importance of wearing a face mask to slow the spread of the virus. Dr. Tom Miller describes masks as “the pill” we need to take that has been shown to significantly cut down the rate of infection …A mask can be vital to not only keeping others safe but keeping the economy open and helping get the country back to normal,” healthcare.utah.edu explains. Face masks could not only be the key to saving lives but could help keep the economy open and get the country back on track. Madison.com states, “The Centers for Disease Control recently recommended wearing a face covering when going outside, particularly when it is difficult to maintain the advised 6-foot distance. Countries such as the Czech Republic and South Korea are controlling the spread of COVID-19 better than the United States and other countries. The data indicates masks are one reason. Face coverings don’t replace hand washing and social distancing, but they are an additional tool to stop the spread… Set a good example by wearing a face covering when you venture outside your home. My mask protects you, and your mask protects me. Let’s protect each other. The sooner we stop the spread, the sooner we get back to normal.” 

Masks could help save the economy. Our economy, badly hurt by the pandemic, could be strengthened as a result of mask-wearing. According to aarp.org, “Masks could offer an economic boon, as well. A report released by investment firm Goldman Sachs found that a national face mask mandate could serve as a substitute for lockdowns ‘that would otherwise subtract nearly 5 percent from GDP [gross domestic product].’” Wearing masks when we are around people would limit the transmission of the virus. Employment rates would rise, and our economy would be booming once more. Economist.com states, “According to our reckoning, an American wearing a mask for a day is helping prevent a fall in GDP of $56.14. Not bad for something that you can buy for about 50 cents apiece.”

By putting on a face mask, you are helping everyone, whether it be by saving their life, helping get them back to work, or simply helping their life return to normal. So wear your mask. 

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