Masks: Helpful or Harmful?

Over the last year, Covid-19 has changed the norm in our society, with one of the most different features of our new normal being masks, one of the most praised yet simultaneously controversial topics, which is necessary to stop the spread of Covid between people.

Despite being such a helpful tool in the fight against Covid and the road to returning life to how it was previously, masks are still debated over for different reasons. Seeing the reasoning behind both sides is necessary to understand why people think the way they do about mask use. However, no matter what opinions people have on wearing masks, they must still be used so we can protect the people around us. 

One of the most common reasons people don’t wear masks is because it is believed to restrict breathing. Since the mask goes over a person’s nose and mouth, there have been claims that it has caused breathing problems and is dangerous. However, experts from the CDC have said that this isn’t true multiple times over the past year, which easily disproves this claim. 

Different political ideals also play a role in a person’s thoughts on masks. Both news sources and politicians often state different information on masks and other issues based on their own beliefs and ways they view the world. Different political parties are one of the most common differences in beliefs that can change ideals. These different opinions can lead listeners to believe that Covid-19 isn’t real or can’t kill anyone, or is only as potent as the common flu. For example, if the leader of a political party states that masks aren’t necessary, the followers will believe that as well and not wear masks. Generally, people in the Republican party tend to not wear masks in public, or will rarely wear them, while the Democratic party will usually always wear masks, as seen in a 2020 article by NBC News. 

Another popular reason why people don’t wear masks is because they believe that wearing masks falls under freedom of expression, and they have the right to not wear a mask. While the idea is that masks limit freedom, the First Amendment which covers freedom of expression doesn’t apply to masks limiting freedom. 

While there are dozens of other reasons that people refuse to wear masks, the central ideas fall under these categories. The way we view masks completely changes based on our opinions, even if it is helping to save the lives around us. Regardless of our opinions of political beliefs, we have to see that it isn’t better to claim that masks are a hoax and risk the lives of our friends and family when over 579 thousand people in the U.S. have died from Covid. It is always better to wear a mask for a few months while staying safe, while helping others and allowing our lives to return back to the pre-Covid standard, even if our opinions on them differ.