By Luis Castilla
Seeing someone without a face mask these days is like seeing someone naked. It’s taboo and somewhat dirty. They certainly shouldn’t be that way out in public. It’s as if they’re telling the world, “Look at me. I have no shame.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, we were told that wearing a face mask would protect us and the people around us from the virus, and it was, and still is, true.
I have not had a cold, fever or even a sniffle since the pandemic began and have my trusty face masks to thank.
Masks protect people from more than just COVID-19. Provided you aren’t one of those people who wears their mask under their nose, a face mask provides protection from many airborne viruses. As someone who dislikes being ill, I will continue to wear a face mask even after this pandemic subsides.
There are people in this country that, even after three million deaths worldwide and 500,000 deaths in the United States, refuse to wear a mask. There are some still denying the existence of COVID-19.
Some of these people believe that being forced to wear a mask is inhibiting their freedom as Americans, that masks are the shackles of an unfair government. These people have little regard for their health and even less regard for the health of others.
Yes, face masks may be inconvenient and uncomfortable at times, but I would rather be inconvenienced and uncomfortable than dead.
We can never know how many lives masks have saved, but there is no doubt that without them, the death toll of COVID-19 would be much higher.
Face masks are nothing new. People in many Asian countries wear face masks routinely because they know their benefits.
Aside from saving lives, face masks are also a convenient piece of fashion. Prior to the pandemic, I never realized how little others need to see all of my face. Half the time, I don’t even have to shave because I wear a mask everytime I go outside.
Masks also level the playing field in terms of attractiveness. I used to be an average looking person; my face was holding me back. Now, with everyone wearing masks, I feel more confident knowing all the good looking people are hiding their good looks behind masks.
COVID-19 cases and deaths have been declining in California and it finally feels like we’re turning the corner.
The Centers for Disease Control announced last week that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may partake in outdoor activities without having to wear a mask.
But why would I go back to using my face when there are so many benefits to wearing a mask?
Wearing a face mask post-pandemic will be a personal choice. The type of choice that will probably not be influenced by the CDC like it has been over the last year. There will be more pandemics in the future, but COVID-19 has taught us how to get through them. We have tools that will keep us alive, and face masks are the most powerful tools we have.