Wearing a mask has been a topic of heated debate.
Although, it should be a much simpler matter to decide. For example, over 20 times more Americans have died from coronavirus than died in the war on terror. According to the CDC, over 120k deaths have been linked to coronavirus. Health officials have since reversed their initial position on masks, and admitted times have changed. Even with a margin of error for pneumonia related cases, being considered coronavirus deaths, that is still a massive figure. Now, wearing a mask has become as important as a helmet was in combat. Here is why:
We sent nearly 3 million Americans to Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, some did not come back. Less than one percent, to be exact. However, everyone was required to wear personal protective equipment. Specifically while traveling in military vehicles or outside of friendly lines. These items cover only a small percentage of your body, and do little for large explosions. The volume of protection a plate carrier offers pales in comparison to the ability of a mask to stop someone from sneezing in your mouth. Basic Training now requires the use of masks.
Service members have lost rank for taking helmets off while on duty. No reasonable infantryman would leave the base without their plate carrier. No leader would have allowed that. Yet something much lighter has been proven more effective at personal protection during this pandemic. The simple logic behind it is that bullets are scary and sudden. Dying in a hospital bed is not a graphic. Thus, it registers as less of an immediate threat.
A simple equation
Surgeon General Jerome Adams just said “Some feel face coverings infringe on their freedom of choice- but if more wear them, we’ll have MORE freedom to go out. Face coverings (lead to) less asymptomatic viral spread (which lead to) more places open, and sooner!” To summarize, this is a case of cause and effect.
Certainly that was a powerful statement from the top spokesperson for our nation’s health. There has been countless studies that support these facts. Despite this, many have refused to wear masks. Why is that? The first argument is they won’t help. That is glaringly false.
No one will give you an exact number, because of liability. However, two ply cotton masks have been proven to stop droplets. Meaning, the spray from sneezes and coughs. The CDC confirmed this being the main mode of transmission of COVID-19. If an infected person ejects a virus, it would make sense to have some sort of barrier, right? Swabbing of masks have shown the outside of a mask will test positive. However, nearly all the inside portions will test negative. Washing hands after removing the mask will drastically reduce transmission.
A duty to contribute
A second common answer is that it infringes on personal liberty. However, it is the responsibility of every citizen to help their nation. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” the famous words President Kennedy used to challenge every citizen to contribute. Americans went without steel for years during WWII. That meant no cans, new cars or alarm clocks. The nation has always come together times of hardship. We conserve water during droughts and donate blood when their are shortages. We come together as communities during tragedies. Wearing a mask is am incredibly small concession to make.
Just because this is not as scary as a enemy combatant, does not mean it is not a threat. The nation has asked us all to contribute, and we should all answer the call. One mask at a time, until this too has passed.