Cons of Mask Editorial

Maddy Berg

Eventually we have to go back to normal. Whether it be students or those in the workforce, working from home is not practical for so many of us. I, for one, can not make myself sit down in my house (which is supposed to be my place of comfort, rest, and time spent with family and friends) and work on schoolwork. I need a separation, and I know many others do, too.

So the question of “when will this all end” is raised. At first, it was two weeks, then two months, now it could possibly be two years. Let us go to school five days a week, let workers go back to work, let us sit down and eat at a restaurant, let us go shopping, let us live.

Businesses are struggling, students’ grades are slipping, workers’ jobs are furloughing. There are not enough stimulus checks in the world to support a slowed economy.

A virus which is not much worse than a cold (for most people) should not have stopped an entire world. I know there have been some deaths, but those who were more at risk could likely have died by another virus such as the common flu. There are other strains of the coronavirus that had far worse effects on those it affected than COVID-19. For example, MERS did not stop our world (approximately 30% died, according to the World Health Organization); SARS did not stop our world. The H1N1 strain of Influenza A did not stop our world; Ebola did not stop our world (50% death rate according to the World Health Organization). Why, then, are we allowing a virus with similar effects as a cold or flu to do so.

Those who are affected the most by COVID-19 are, for the most part, either older, obese, are immunocompromised, or have chronic illnesses. However, those are the same people who are most at risk for other viruses.

Of the few healthcare professionals I have spoken with, not one has disagreed with me. Let us live. They tell me the reaction to this “pandemic” has been overly dramatized. They don’t believe kids should have to wear masks for eight hours a day. They want everything to go back to normal. They are tired of their beds for far more sick patients being taken up by COVID-19 patients who could easily be sent home.
I understand the argument that masks are important. I understand where people are coming from when they say they would like to be socially distanced. I think if you want to wear a mask, then by all means, wear one. However, I do not think they should be required. That being said, I am not going to fight and argue with a business owner when they say masks are required in their store. Let each location choose. Here in Cass County, we do not have many cases, especially compared to other areas around. We do not need to wear a mask and only fill half of our schools.

Some will bring up the argument that if we do not require masks and social distancing, then our numbers will spike. Sure, they could, but why isolate ourselves for that reason alone. Kids used to go outside, eat dirt, get their hands dirty, swim in lakes, play with friends. Let them do these things without scaring them into sitting in their rooms “quarantining” on devices. They should not be made to sit at home and try to learn from their parents or other guardians who are not equipped to teach them. Let them go to school, let them see their teachers’ faces.

Then there are those who have died to COVID-19, but not in the way you think. I saw a story, “COVID-19 killed my son, but not how you think,” in which a father talked about how his kid, a child, committed suicide due to lack of socialization. Because these kids were stuck at home, they became lonely, and felt there was no other way to get out of that vicious, lonely cycle. You have to let that sink in. These are our youth, our children. And I know they aren’t the only ones who have felt this way. I have found myself, many times, throughout this time of quarantine feeling especially lonely. Sure, everyone gets lonely, but when we are supposed to be cooped up in our homes, it is especially prevalent how little socialization we get.

Now, let’s assume a vaccine is found. Healthcare workers will get it first. Great, but now, that just means the rest of us continue to live in isolation and ‘quarantine.’ They are estimating that about a year after those healthcare workers get vaccinated, then there will be one for the rest of the population. However, the entire population is not going to flock to get the vaccine. So, we continue to live as we are now or we move on.

I know there is no one solution to what is going on in the world today, however, I am going to offer my opinion on what I think we should do. First, ditch the masks. If you want to wear one, wear one, otherwise, do not. Second, let us go back to our normal lives. No more half-full or empty schools. Third, stop flooding the news with case numbers, etc. There are far more important things going on in this world we should be focusing on.