COVID-19 Should You Wear a Mask?

Carla Calhoun

Traveling throughout Cuyahoga County and visiting various stores and eateries it is confusing to see so many people not wearing masks or practicing social distancing. This behavior is not limited to young adults as many believe, but a variety of ages, races, and nationalities whom choosing not to comply with mask wearing.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face masks in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. A cloth mask can help cover a cough or a sneeze, reducing the spread of germs. Some people unknowingly have COVID-19 and are unaware that they are spreading the virus to others.  The cloth mask may also prevent you from touching your face and can be a visual reminder to others and yourself to practice social distancing.  The CDC recommends that children under 2 years old, anyone with breathing trouble, or anyone who may be incapacitated and unable to remove the mask on their own, should not wear a mask. Healthline Health News

A cloth mask is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.   So the mask protects others not the wearer, is that why people do not feel a need to wear a mask?  Do they not feel responsible with helping to ensure others are not contaminated?  So is wearing a mask a moral issue? Should mask wearing be enforced for some establishments but not all?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will sign an Executive Order requiring everyone in the State to wear a mask or a mouth/nose covering in public when not social distancing. The Gov. is allowing a three-day grace period for new Yorkers to get coverings, if not he is considering a civil penalty for those breaking the rules. CNN.com

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine emphasized the importance of following public health measures and wearing face masks, “doing so is important to protect the health of others and the issues should not be political.”  CNBC

On May 4th Gov. DeWine made face masks mandatory for some business offices, construction and manufacturers, but the following day he revised that the state will not require people to wear face masks in public, but strongly urged the practice to continue. Two hours later DeWine’s office clarified his remarks stating masks generally would be required in the workplace and for store employees. Akron Beacon Journal

Confused? Should you wear a mask in public?  In Ohio it appears that it is solely up to the individual, however some business employees are required to wear face coverings.

Wearing a mask may prevent the spread of the COVID-19 to others, therefore morally it appears to be the right thing to do. You be the judge. Be patient or be a patient.

For further information on COVID-19, call: 833-4-ASK-ODH or go to: State of Ohio’s COVID-19 web page.