The importance of wearing a mask during a pandemic

Carson+Wiggins%2C+1st+grade+at+Roswell+North+Elementary.+Photo+by+Alli+Wiggins

Carson Wiggins, 1st grade at Roswell North Elementary. Photo by Alli Wiggins

Alexandra Wiggins

Adjusting to change is hard in general, but adjusting to a world pandemic and having to switch up your whole lifestyle is on a whole new level. While some of the changes may seem shocking, we, as a community, need to take precautions, not only for ourselves but for others as well. 

 

When COVID-19 was first ramping up in March of 2020, some people were not taking it seriously. It almost didn’t seem real. The country had never dealt with something like this, or at least it hadn’t in quite some time, so many did not know how to react or what to do during the start. Many questioned whether or not they should be wearing masks into the grocery store, or even if they should be going out. This question was not answered until mid-July when the state of Georgia finally mandated masks for grocery stores, and other public spaces. The uncertainty was overwhelming as families were scrambling for food and supplies before everything sold out. At that point, many were more focused on being prepared to stay home than they were about actually getting the virus. For example, when I went to the grocery stores during the months of March-May 2020,  there were still a large number of people that were not wearing masks. It almost seemed like they didn’t care at all. 

 

There are many reasons why it is so important to wear a mask wherever possible, and it is not just to keep yourself safe. You also have to be considerate of others. Younger populations, like teens and even young adults, are not as likely to get COVID-19 as older populations are. A direct quote from the CDC states, “As you get older, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. For example, people in their 50’s are at a higher risk than people in their 40’s. Similarly, people in their 60’s or 70’s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50’s.” Therefore, wearing a mask is not just about you, it’s about being empathetic about other people’s well being and yourself. 

Carson Wiggins, 1st grade at Roswell North Elementary. Photo by Alli Wiggins 

 

One last reason to wear a mask is to help our healthcare workers. Over these past few months, healthcare workers have gone through some of the most stressful times of their careers. Between overflowing hospitals and the worrisome thoughts of getting sick or contaminating others, the least we can do as citizens is to wear our masks. By doing this, the doctors and nurses will feel more comfortable going to work and it is consoling for them to see people following the rules and stopping the spread just by doing the little things. Even doing more of the little things like washing your hands often, staying as far apart as possible, and covering your cough will help stop the spread and keep our healthcare workers and older populations. “The importance of wearing a mask during the pandemic is to give respect to individuals who, unbeknownst to us, may be suffering from some underlying health conditions. It’s also important that everyone does their part to help stop the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask is going to be with us for a while. Therefore, just like wearing seatbelts in the car was hard for our parents to adjust to, we have to adjust to new safety measures as well,” says Grace Jones, a junior at Roswell Highschool. Soon enough, I have hopes that citizens will not be scared to go into the grocery store and that they will be comfortable seeing their grandparents without having to stay six feet apart. It is an insane world that we live in but we can improve it by mandating masks and continuing to follow the rules. 

 

This time last year, life was normal. Everything was the same as it had always been. If you are one of the large groups of people who actually miss normal life, then you should be the one wearing a mask. Though it may not seem like it, masks are helping us slowly ease back into normal life. It’s simple, but wearing something that protects your nose and mouth, where air and germs are let out, will most definitely help keep you and others less prone to the virus. So, if you want to get back to normal life, do things that will help you get there! The sooner the spread stops, the sooner we get back to normal life.