Why wearing a mask is important

This CDC graphic shows the importance of wearing a mask when coming
 into contact with others.

Photo courtesy of Photo by the CDC via Wikimedia under Creative Commons License

This CDC graphic shows the importance of wearing a mask when coming into contact with others.

Joseph Triolo, Staff Writer

Over the past few weeks, more and more locations have begun to reopen from lockdowns designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the growth of re-openings comes a constant concern of a second wave. While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, wearing a mask can lower the contagion. That is why on Tuesday, May 26th, Governor Northam of Virginia signed Executive Order 63 which requires the usage of masks by all people, ages 10 and over, in all enclosed locations, effective Friday May 29th. By signing the executive order into effect, Northam joined many other states in the required use of face coverings.

Masks should be required in all situations where person-to-person contact occurs, especially in customer-to-employee contact. While wearing a mask will not guarantee protection from transmission of the Coronavirus, the measure would protect ourselves along with others, and help in the mitigation efforts against the virus. Mask-wearing would also help in efforts to reopen many localities.

The usage of face coverings has been repeatedly suggested as a way to lower the spread of the virus by many doctors and scientists; however, some are reluctant to follow rules set by the government. They claim that it is an impediment to their own rights, while masks are put in place to impede the spread of COVID-19. 

In Governor Northam’s executive order, requiring the usage of face coverings in enclosed areas, he shares the view of many doctors and medical professionals: “Studies of the virus show that a substantial number of individuals with coronavirus are asymptomatic. In addition, individuals who contract the virus may still transmit the virus to others before ever showing symptoms. Therefore, a person with no symptoms of the virus could spread it by speaking, coughing, or sneezing. As more people venture back to businesses, employees are put in a vulnerable position when patrons come in without a face covering. We must make sure workers are safe as they interact with customers. Science shows us that face coverings can help stop the spread of the virus. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings, even those made from household items or common materials in public settings.”

Masks are vital in keeping yourself safe along with others around you.