Give it up and mask up

Madalyn Tuning, Editor-in-chief

Put on your mask. Fix your mask. Don’t forget your mask. Pull up your mask. Cover your nose with your mask. We all hear the same exasperated demands by teachers, parents, strangers and peers. It’s annoying and repetitive, but it’s safer to wear one than be more susceptible to the possible exposure of disease.
We understand the masks are uncomfortable, hard to breathe in — especially after going from the first floor to the third — and force you to smell your lunch for the remaining hours of the day. But it is important that everyone wears their masks as often as possible in public settings. And for those who wear glasses, our hearts go out to you for dealing with the never-ending fog impairing your vision. The high school is a germ pool of crowded students, so, out of safety, keep the masks on.
You don’t know where the people next to you have been or who they have been hanging out with, so breathing in their air is not preferred. Assume that any of your classmates or teachers could have the coronavirus, but are asymptomatic. As noted earlier in the magazine, several students and teachers have already had it. Some are being quarantined for contracting the coronavirus or being around someone who tested positive. Anyone could get it and bring it home to their loved ones.
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the main point of wearing a mask is to stop particles from one’s breath from being released into the air that everyone around them is breathing. This protects peers from getting sick whenever someone has the coronavirus and has been in close proximity to them. Unfortunately, masks will not always stop the coronavirus, but wearing a mask is safer than being without masks. Wearing a mask helps keep the entire school shutting down due to students rapidly spreading the virus and ending up in quarantine.
There are some who are unable to wear masks due to health conditions. Although, for most patients, doctors do not waive their ability to wear a mask because it is safer for them to keep one on.
Masks also help protect against other illnesses that may be lurking around. Pacific Asian countries like Japan have been wearing masks for years to help reduce the spread of colds and respiratory diseases. Japan, where masks are the norm, has lower coronavirus patients and deaths. Wearing masks is working for them, so let it work for us.
High school can be hard enough without the ongoing pandemic, so we understand why students do not want to follow health guidelines. Although, when it comes down to it, being quarantined and ill because of the coronavirus is a lot worse than spending our days wearing masks.
Please, consider the health of others around you when you refuse to wear masks correctly. Several students live with infants, elderly or those with health conditions, so keeping yourself masked will allow others to be more protected.
Some have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the pandemic, so be courteous to them by keeping others around you safe. It is each person’s decision to follow health guidelines, so make the decision to keep those around you healthy, along with yourself.
Wear your mask. Find something else to complain about. We will all get used to the masks over time, so move on with your lives safely.

The Wingspan Editorial Board is composed of: Madalyn Tuning and Katelynn Gibson