After six long months, students are finally back on campus. Our district has been pushing to enforce the importance of facial coverings in school settings: no mask, no class.
Ignorance is not bliss for those who are immunocompromised. As COVID-19 is still in full force, wearing a mask is crucial. Wearing a mask protects more than just yourself. At this point, wearing a mask is human decency—it’s a simple symbol of care and respect.
In the past few days, there have been over 800 new cases in Michigan, according to Google News. Despite popular belief, the coronavirus is still a prominent issue. There is a heavy flow of cases throughout Michigan and the United States. While every state has started to peek out from lock down in some way or another, this does not mean that the coronavirus has disappeared. On September 5th, there were 50,183 new cases confirmed. Overall, there have been 6.33 million cases and almost 200k deaths in the United States.
The only effective way to wear a mask is over your mouth and nose. Otherwise the purpose is defeated; according to a study done by researchers at the University of North Carolina, the cells lining the nose are significantly more likely to get infected by the coronavirus than those lining the throat and lungs. Covering both the nasal and oral cavities is imperative when it comes to mitigating the spread.
Here are some tips for how to address people who aren’t wearing masks at school, or anywhere in public:
If it’s someone you know…
- Keep it kind and friendly, but also assertive. Let them know you are uncomfortable with them being unmasked.
- Talk about how wearing a mask protects your at-risk friends and family.
- Empathize with them and acknowledge what they don’t like about wearing a mask. Proceed to tell them how we can “get through this together.”
If it’s a stranger in public…
- If you are shopping, ask an employee to let the customer know that masks are mandatory.
- If an employee isn’t wearing a mask (or is wearing it incorrectly), politely ask them to.
- Be prepared to leave a store or business if there is a lack of masks.
Remember that wearing a mask goes beyond your well being. Wearing a mask protects you, the people in your bubble, the people in theirs, and so on and so forth. Stay safe and mask up.