Wearing a mask, not a difficult task

The importance of wearing a face covering in public


Infographic by Annabelle Harshbarger

Three easy ways to keep yourself and the community healthy and help to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Annabelle Harshbarger, Staff Reporter

Putting on a mask is a simple task that everyone should and can do to protect themselves and their communities, even if they are not concerned about contracting COVID-19 themselves. While some still oppose the idea, wearing a mask is a courtesy to others. 

As of August 11th, Omaha finally has had a mask mandate put into place. Until September 15th, Omaha residents will be required to wear a mask in indoor public settings. Before the mandate wearing a mask was strongly recommended by many stores in the Omaha area, but often not required. Now if people still refuse to wear a mask they can be fined $25. 

Prior to August 11th, Omaha was the only city in the US top 40 to not have a mask mandate. This put essential workers and many other people in the Omaha area at a higher risk for contracting coronavirus. 

Wearing a mask when you cannot social distance is extremely important to public health and safety, as it could also help to slow the pandemic and get life back to normal. According to University of California San Francisco, if 80% of people wear masks in public settings that could reduce the spread of COVID-19 more than a strict lockdown could.

Wearing a mask doesn’t seem that complicated; they are cheap and can now be purchased at almost any store. However for some it seems to be a very hard concept to grasp. Wearing a mask has been a topic of debate since the pandemic hit in March. Many people opposing them argue that “it doesn’t do anything” or that it’s simply uncomfortable. While yes at times wearing a mask can sometimes become hot and stuffy it’s a small price to pay for public health. The first claim however is simply untrue, According to Mayoclinic, asking everyone to wear a cloth mask could help to stop people from spreading COVID-19 without even realizing.

COVID-19 spreads through particles in air, masks help to filter the particles leaving their mouth and infecting those around them. Considering someone infected with the virus can appear asymptomatic it’s even more important for people to put on a mask even if they may appear healthy. 

Social distancing, wearing a mask and sanitizing are the only weapons the public has against the pandemic and the only way to slow the spread. But unfortunately, even with a staggering amount of evidence against it people still refuse to simply put on a mask. 

After the mask mandate ends in Omaha people should continue to wear masks indoors and outside when they can not social distance. Together we can all help to slow the spread and keep our communities healthy.