Masks: Pathogen Containment or Media Hoax?

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COVER UP: Students in Sr. Draney’s Spanish I class more or less practice proper mask etiquette while reciting the Spanish alphabet. “We’re just doing our part,” remarked Draney.

Peter Visser, staff writer

None of the following  information is based on scientific research. All of the claims made in this article are opinions of students. To find accurate information regarding COVID-19. please visit cdc.gov. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has raised much debate regarding the effectiveness of various sanitation practices. With both sides of the political spectrum claiming different remedies and preventive measures, it is extremely difficult to decide what is best for one’s health. One exceptionally controversial issue is the debate over the effectiveness of face coverings. Are face coverings an effective safety precaution or are they causing more harm than good?

When Lincoln County School District #2 publicly announced their decision to return to a face-to-face learning environment in early August, there was no doubt that they would need to clear a number of hurdles to provide a safe, contaminate-free educational experience. In order to remain in school for as long as possible, LCSD2 adopted a number of safety protocols. These protocols include frequent sanitation of community shared items (desks, computers, etc.,) practicing social distancing, encouragement of frequent hand washing, and the requirement of a face covering.

CONTAINED: “Masks suck,” said senior Deegan Foley. “But there is a reason we have to wear them, so mask up.”

A student who chose to remain anonymous shared his opinion on the subject of face coverings and the COVID-19 pandemic: “It’s all fake. The coronavirus is just a manufactured scheme by the Democrats to shift control of the government to the left. Masks are simply an experiment by the left wing to test the general public’s willingness to conform.” Others students disagree.

Senior Gabe Clinger said,”I’m not one hundred percent sure on anything at this point, but I know that masks have been instituted as effective measures of protection from disease for centuries. If it worked for the Bubonic Plague, it is likely that it will work for the coronavirus.”

A quick Google image search of the Spanish Flu pandemic or the Bubonic Plague turns up hundreds of photos showcasing medical specialists and everyday people all wearing face coverings, suggesting that masks do meet their intended purpose.

A HISTORY LESSON: A group poses for a photo during the Spanish Flu pandemic. One member holds the sign “Wear a Mask or Go to Jail.”

“I hate masks because I struggle to breath when I’m wearing them,” lamented sophomore Hyden Veigel. “But I understand the consequences of not covering up, so I try to wear it whenever social distancing is not possible.” Despite the burden of face coverings, students understand that the lack thereof can lead to consequences much greater than having their oxygen flow restricted for a few hours.

It seems as though many different conclusions can be drawn on the effectiveness of face coverings. Some claim that masks are nothing but a hoax designed by left wing government officials and the media to restrict the rights of American citizens. Others believe that scientific and historical evidence show the importance of wearing a face covering amidst global pandemics. Others wish they could ditch the mask but are willing too conform to avoid the consequences.

Are masks really effective or are they just a media hoax? It appears that that question is largely a matter of opinion. Leave yours in the comment section below.