The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably impacted the lives of us all. Even if you haven’t directly felt the effects of the virus itself, you’ve certainly seen the changes around the world and on your own daily routines. It has been the ultimate disruption. It is also fast becoming, if it isn’t at that point already, a true disaster.
The new coronavirus cannot be dismissed as “just another illness”. While it has been compared to the flu, this is truly a pandemic. Without an approved vaccine or any other built-up immunity, other solutions must be sought in order to limit the spread of this virus. If something viable isn’t achieved to get us through this, more people will get sick, the economy will continue to falter, and the situation may only get worse.
We have no control over this situation, and that can be really scary. However, it is not hopeless. As much as the pandemic may seem out of our hands, there are reasonable measures that can be taken to make a difference towards getting through this.
The Use of Masks
One solution to getting us through this that has been looked at from many different angles is the use of masks. In the early days of COVID-19, this was a contentious debate for a few different reasons. In the first place, it couldn’t be agreed upon if masks, as used by the general public, could actually work to stop the spread of the infection. Even if they turned out to do some good, it also didn’t seem worth taking the gamble when there really weren’t enough masks to go around. The concern was that, by encouraging public use of masks, the limited resources would be taken away from the medical professionals who absolutely require them.
While these valid concerns did well in causing hesitation of the adoption of mask use, experts now recognize masks as one of the best ways through. Of course, the most effective equipment, N95 respirators, should still be reserved for those that receive the most virus exposure and therefore need them the most. However, if everybody commits to wearing masks of some sort when in public, asymptomatic infection spread can be mitigated and a defeat of the pandemic can possibly be achieved with efficiency.
Benefits Behind the Mask
There are just too many benefits to widespread mask usage to count out making efforts towards this solution. If you are looking for a way to help get us all through this together, this may be the direction you want to look towards. Experts are pointing us this way because the solution of masks can not only resolve the circumstances around community health but also keep the economy going while we make our way through the pandemic. It is the most reliable method for making it all work.
Overwhelming Health Benefits
The existence of this virus among the population creates a health risk for everyone. Just one person that is currently infected with COVID-19, who might not even know that they have it if they aren’t displaying any symptoms, can end up spreading it to every person that they are in contact with. Without anything to stop this spread, it will just continue on, threatening the lives of those that are high-risk and endangering the community as a whole.
Putting on a mask will not instantly keep you safe from getting the virus, but it can help prevent you from being one of those asymptomatic spreaders. It’s not always obvious who has the coronavirus and who doesn’t, but if we all wear masks, we protect each other from exposure. It has been determined that a total commitment to mask-wearing can significantly slow down the spread and cut down on new cases. Combined with reasonable social distancing behaviors, this may be the best solution to minimizing the harm to community health.
Saving the Economy
Another point in the favor of masks is that their use is a less extreme policy to enforce. While masks do still have their opponents, they’re much more of an optimal decision for most. As an alternative to the lockdowns that many have experienced, masks offer a way through that keeps businesses open. Without having to shut anything down, the small act of wearing a mask can be enough to protect against the virus and keep the economy running.
Businesses that have already opened but now have a mask policy are proving the possibilities for success if everyone can get on board. Even when an employee gets sick, their mask is sufficient in preventing infection for any customers. If more businesses can follow suit and masks are allowed to open doors up, we may just have a real way to save the economy during a pandemic.
The Necessary Steps of Your Support
The use of masks may not be perfect, but until there is a vaccine or cure that we can all rely on, this is what we have. If everyone can get behind masks, they can actually do a whole lot of good. So, what can you do to make them work so that we can all get through this pandemic together?
Wear Your mask
The most obvious step you can take is to just wear your mask. Any time that you go out in public, whether it’s to the grocery store, the hair salon, or a restaurant (you can take it off to eat), a mask should be worn. It is a relatively minor thing to commit to but it can really help a lot and it’s certainly the considerate thing to do.
Encourage Others to Get On Board
Of course, it is not enough for one person to be wearing a mask among a crowd of the unmasked. For this solution to work, it is imperative that we all agree to do our part. An excellent way to get everyone wearing their masks is for the government to enforce the rule. In areas where the local government has stepped up and decided on masks as a requirement for going out, the immediate results are a much higher adoption of mask usage.
Even if your local government is not taking on the responsibility of getting people wearing masks, there are still ways you can encourage the practice for those around you. If you are a leader with any kind of authority, this is a decision you can make and that you should make correctly. If you own a business, you can require your employees and customers to wear the mask. If you are not in such a high position, you can still spread the word among friends and family that wearing a mask is the right choice. This may be the best way that you can contribute to the cause, along with wearing your own mask.
Don’t Give Up on This Solution
As simple as the solution of a mask is, it’s understandable that it may be difficult to keep it up. A lot of people are already wanting to toss the masks (and many of their other virus prevention efforts) aside and just move on already. This whole thing is so stressful that it would be nice to just forget about it all. It’s not as easy as that though. A desire to be done with COVID-19 does not actually translate into a disappearance of the virus itself.
We all, together, have to continue wearing masks until we have successfully gotten through this pandemic. If you give up too soon, so much progress is set back. The only way through this is absolute commitment by everyone, including yourself.