Victoria Choi Troy High School 10th Grade
With the COVID-19 continuing to spread and the 2 million cases of infected only continuing to grow exponentially, more and more people have taken health precautions, which includes the rush to buy masks.
According to The Wall Street Journal, about 50 million masks are being made each month, but the demand for masks has been a whopping 300 million per month. Which begs the question: are masks truly helpful in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and is the demand for them reasonable? Ultimately, masks play an important role in preventing the spread of the virus, but the demand for them from the general public is not reasonable.
Although masks do not guarantee prevention from being infected, they are not completely devoid of offering protection. Because the coronavirus is spread through droplets, masks are helpful because they offer a physical barrier that contains the droplets. New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has discovered that COVID-19 can spread more than 13 feet.
Therefore, simply practicing social distancing at a close proximity of six feet is not nearly enough, and more protection is needed, which can be found through masks. When a person coughs, these barriers serve as shields to capture the droplets so that the spread of germs is limited, which can reduce the distance that the coronavirus spreads. It is important to note that wearing masks not only protects the person wearing them but also the surroundings.
Yes, masks are a step towards protection, but the general public has no need to stock up or hoard masks. Fear does not justify these actions and simply prevents those who truly need them from getting access. Erin Choi, a sophomore from Orange Lutheran High School agrees, stating that people should not overstock on masks because there are nurses and doctors in hospitals or nursing home centers who need them more. In fact, many hospitals are facing the consequences of not having enough of these crucial materials. Health care providers are forced to treat patients without any form of protection or reuse one-time-use masks, which risks both the doctors’ and patients’ lives.
Taking into consideration the dire situation, members of the general public should utilize masks in the form of multiple layered cloth coverings secured with bands made from household items as recommended by the CDC. As a registered nurse at the Memorial Hospital of Gardena, Michelle Cho states that homemade masks are not only beneficial for those of the general public to use but also ease the demand on the surgical masks and respirators that healthcare workers need. As further safety precautions, the general public should be actively washing their hands for twenty seconds, as this method is one of the most efficient ways of killing germs that can further spread the coronavirus.
<Victoria Choi Troy High School 10th Grade