Why YOU Should Be Proud to Wear a Mask


Riley Keiter

Uncle Sam said he needs YOU to wear a mask.

Riley Keiter

Fluorescent light shines from a blue-hued screen, this phone is the only source of light this early in the morning. Squirted eyes search for the brightness setting, and then are given the grace to acknowledge a notification. Facebook, ever-present, sits on the screen and alarms them to the latest news: a post by their mask-hating extended relative. Reading the post is arbitrary because they likely already know what it says: masks are unsafe, unnecessary, and limit our freedoms as American people. It’s less than a minute into the day, and yet the discord has already started.

These days, it seems like empty noise is constant in America. There’s always some type of discourse going on, sometimes over what should be a basic concept. One of these many arbitrary arguments is about the value of masks in protecting people in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A study done by The National Library of Medicine predicts that masks can prevent upwards of 95% of aerosol particles.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is well aware that masks support health, and they prove it using their many qualified studies. An example would be a study taken from the National Library of Medicine, which, “Supports surgical mask use as one of the recommended cough etiquette interventions to limit the transmission of airborne infectious agents”.

Against some belief, Covid-19 is also not a conspiracy.

One belief is that China created the virus to intentionally harm America. Another is that COVID-19 was exaggerated by all media and government to get Trump out of office. Both are ridiculous statements. To assume that some news outlets have over-exaggerated the virus is understandable; but, the entire government and all world-wide media colluding against Trump is, to put it simply, silly. 

A poll done by US News reveals a startling number of people who believe in unlikely conspiracy theories about Covid-19.

“Unfortunately, we have fertile ground for misinformation,” Tara Kirk Sell said, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

Wearing a mask and social distancing does not perpetuate government control, it saves lives, as proven by unbiased scientific evidence. Saying otherwise only serves to harm America and cause extreme polarization. It turns a disease into a political agenda, and it politicizes something which never should have been turned political. 

“Patriotism means to stand by the country,”  former President Theodore Roosevelt said. “It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official.”

Citizens used to go to great lengths to protect the people in this nation; in WWII, hundreds of thousands of people died in combat. More struggled at home as their families and friends were put in danger. Before Pearl Harbor, most people were vehemently opposed to the war. Due to a possible draft, rationing, the pressure to buy war bonds and more, reservations were common. However, after people within America were harmed, America realized that their community was being harmed and took immediate action. This is what “patriotism” is, not a blind following of a government, but a care and concern for the people around you and all over the country.

“Modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation all the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it,” as Mark Twain put it.

Wearing a mask is the best way to summarize what patriotism is. By wearing a mask, you are doing something simple to protect your community. By not wearing a mask, you are proving that you do not care about your community, and therefore the people in it. 

I go home and I get news of coworkers, family friends, and personal friends who were exposed to the coronavirus. I’ve heard about the people left behind when their family member passes away, thinking just a couple of months ago that the pandemic was a sham.

People can argue as much as they like; no matter what they do, this generation of high schoolers will have grown up in a time where we must accommodate our parents’, and their parents’, missteps, where we must figure out how to un-politicize a disease. The only way to smooth the wrinkles already caused is to take action now–wear a mask, and be proud of it.