Do you still recall what you were doing when the lockdown was first imposed? It has been three years since the world went on lockdown, and health regulations were strictly implemented. Years of being anxious over getting the virus, constantly having to wear a mask, and complying with health protocols have resulted in people feeling pandemic fatigue. However, all these worries are going away as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually easing, and society is slowly returning to its usual pre-pandemic activities. Nowadays, countries are more lenient with health protocols, such as masks not being mandatory. Despite all this excitement of returning to normal, we must not forget that COVID and other illnesses like the flu and the common cold still exist. We are still vulnerable to these, but wearing masks can reduce the chances of catching these illnesses.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mask wearing still remains to be an essential tool to combat the virus. It's recommended that masks are worn “irrespective of the local epidemiological situation, given the current spread of the COVID-19 globally.” Because the virus can spread even if a person is asymptomatic. Speaking closely to one another, coughing, and sneezing are ways wherein the contagious droplets can transfer. By wearing masks, we can restrict the amount of infectious droplets that can be inhaled or exhaled, thus reducing the spread of the virus. WHO recommends that mask wearing is essential when in a crowded or enclosed place and if we think that we or someone else is showing signs of COVID-19.
When wearing masks, we are not protecting only ourselves but also the people around us. Wearing a mask may seem tiresome, but we must remember that our health and safety should always be a top priority. Studies show that wearing masks is most effective when everyone is wearing them. There are different kinds to choose from, but the one that offers the most protection is one that fits well and comfortably. Surgical , KN95, and cloth masks are the most commonly used masks. However, there are other options like the Jelli M1 Face Mask, a transparent and anti-fog mask that lets you breathe while staying protected. This mask is not only perfect for those who love going and want to be safe, but it is also ideal for those who rely on facial expressions or lip reading for communicating. Ultimately, even if things are improving, we must remain vigilant and careful of our surroundings since being too carefree can result in negative consequences.
Roberts, Michael. “Why Wearing a Mask Is Important: Opelika & Auburn, Alabama (AL), East Alabama Health.” East Alabama Medical Center. https://www.eastalabamahealth.org/news-and-media/why-is-wearing-a-mask-important.
“WHO Updates COVID-19 Guidelines on Masks, Treatments and Patient Care.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization, January 17, 2023. https://www.who.int/news/item/13-01-2023-who-updates-covid-19-guidelines-on-masks--treatments-and-patient-care#:~:text=Masks%20are%20recommended%20following%20a,based%20on%20the%20epidemiological%20situation.
“Face Masks: An Important Tool to Slow down Virus Spread.” University of Utah Health | University of Utah Health, February 22, 2023. https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/2021/04/face-masks-essential-tool-ending-pandemic#:~:text=Masks%20block%20respiratory%20droplets%20from,fitting%20snug%20against%20your%20face.