Mask or No Mask?

Mask+or+No+Mask%3F

Photo by Bella Little

Courtney Weston and Bella Little

Pro: 

“I can’t breathe,” “They make you sicker,” “You can still get Covid wearing a mask,” “I get so much anxiety,” complaints, all day, every day. Nobody talks about how they are beneficial. 

“I can’t breathe” is one of the most heard statements about masks, and why? People believe that having something over your nose restricts how you breathe. However, nineteen different studies provided by the CDC have confirmed that wearing a mask does nothing to your oxygen intake. 

Wearing a mask when you’re sick does make it harder to believe you are getting better. However, it does nothing to keep you sick as long as you regularly change it throughout the day. According to Novant Health,  “wearing a mask will not harm your health even if you are sick with a cold or allergies.”. Wearing a mask allows you not to affect others with the Covid-19 virus. In addition, wearing a mask over your mouth and above your nose protects you from contracting the disease. 

“I believe in science,” said Lori Rose, health science teacher with a doctorate in nursing. “With this particular virus, it is spread by droplets, and if we cover our nose and mouth, those droplets don’t spread and affect other people.” 

It can be challenging to wear a mask every day; they get uncomfortable to wear for an extended period. But they are necessary at this time. Wearing a mask allows you to protect the ones you love that maybe cannot afford to get a disease that has a possibility of killing them. Many have members of their families that have autoimmune diseases, and the Covid-19 virus is deadlier for them than we realize. 

Why shouldn’t masks be optional? Well, making face coverings in school optional may please a group of students; however, it would cause more anxiety and stress to the students that wear their masks because they are concerned about the virus–a lose-lose situation. So, overall, when deciding on the options at the beginning of this year, the Brunswick County School board chose the option of everyone wearing a mask. With recent knowledge, the board decided to allow us to have the option of a mask. 

While wearing a mask can be an adjustment, you really should be wearing one to protect yourself and others from the Covid-19 disease. 

Con:

Two years into a pandemic, Covid numbers are down and a vaccine has been available for months for those willing to get the shot: it’s time to move forward and drop the masks because we are now at a point that the mask mandates are overstepping health freedoms. The time for masks has passed. 

“Personal freedom,” said English teacher Mrs. Crouch. “I think that masks should be optional; people should be able to make up their own minds.”

Doctors are recommending the vaccine to protect yourself against Covid. Vaccinations have been given to people since December 2020, which shows that people over the age of 12 have had plenty of time to get it if they wanted to. If the vaccine protects you from Covid then you shouldn’t be worried about unvaccinated people or others that aren’t wearing a mask. 

“I believe that if you have your vaccination and you are protected, then you are good,” said sophomore Kaylee Sellers. “It isn’t your place to tell others that they have to be vaccinated or that they need to wear a mask.”

Many are starting to believe that masks are having a negative effect on people’s mental health as well as physical health. Health program students from Stanford University began to conduct a study to prove their hypothesis that masks are contributing to substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. The effects they are studying include: shortness of breath, fatigue, hypoxia, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, headaches, a decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety, depression and more. Students could agree with this, as they are experiencing some of the same things. 

“Wearing masks restricts breathing and has caused more anxiety,” said freshman Ryleigh St. George. “It is causing low self-esteem issues, especially in teens, because it is contributing to breakouts.” 

We have the privilege of living in a free country where we should be able to make decisions for ourselves, yet citizens are being forced to wear something that could affect their health in negative ways. Maybe, there was a time for masks, but that time has passed and whether you feel masks should be required or not, people should have the right to make decisions concerning their own health care.