The Importance of Mask-Wearing
Social distancing, Mask wearing, and Quarantining are three phrases that I never thought I would use in my lifetime.
We are living in a pandemic of historic proportions, so we need to remain vigilant in order to fight this crisis.
First I think we ought to break down what it means to social distance. The Centers for Disease Control defines social distancing as staying “at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces”. Whether you are hanging with your friend from 4th grade, or you are going on a date with your partner, the importance of staying socially distanced cannot be stressed enough. I know that we feel safe in our small town in the middle of Vermont and New Hampshire, but we need to do our part in keeping our community, our families, and our friends safe. I know this might sound like a broken record, but without a vaccine, social distancing, along with mask-wearing, is our only hope.
Masks do not replace social distancing and vice versa. I was browsing the interwebs and I came across this comical but important analogy: If airbags work, then why the seatbelt? If the seatbelt works, then why the airbags? If both work, then why the brakes? This analogy reminds us that a system does not function with only one part. A system can only work if all the parts are functioning together. The saying that a system is more than the sum of its parts directly applies to the pandemic. We cannot merely just socially distance because that is like trying to drive a car without wheels, and not wearing a mask is like trying to drive a car without an engine. All of the parts are required for the system to function properly. When we are in school, mask wearing should be done at all times with the only exception being when you are eating, but even then you should put your mask on immediately after. Even if you are just going to leave the table you are sitting at for a second or two you need to put your mask on. We live in a new reality, and we have to assume that everyone could have Corona. Enough said about masks. I hope you all do wear masks because peoples’ lives depend on it, so don’t be selfish.
One last thing before I leave you: I want to talk about peer pressure, herd mentality, or whatever you want to call it. If you don’t wear a mask or socially distance, you are setting an example for your friends to do the same. Whether you are aware of your example or not, it’s important to lead by a good example. So please, for the love of your neighbor, friends, family, and community, make sure you wear a mask and socially distance.