The CDC reports that cold and flu symptoms in 2020, not attributed to COVID-19, have been the lowest in years. This low point in infections can be ascribed to hand washing and mask-wearing behaviors. While mask-wearing was required by the local and national governments, I think we should keep this habit. I know we are annoyed by wearing our masks all the time, but what if we would wear them when we are sick? The CDC states that masks help protect those around you from your germs and I want others to be protected from germs too.
As an Actuarial Science major, I cannot help but think about the risks of daily life. If sick people wear masks, that will express to others, “I am sick– stay away from me! “ This would be the equivalent to the “caution high voltage sign”; I will not willingly walk in an area of high voltage, and I will keep my distance from a sick person. Sometimes it is hard to keep your distance from a sick person.
Let us say I go to eat somewhere… if there is a sick person preparing my burger, I will be exposed to their sickening germs. This begs the question, if they are sick, shouldn’t they be at home resting?
This statement is an excellent point; however, some Americans live paycheck to paycheck, often those who work in the food industry. They need to keep working, or they will not have enough money for their basic needs. While staying home would be the most ideal solution, these Americans need to keep their living. A simple mask would fix this as any respiratory droplets that came out of that person stay with that person alone. Face-coverings should be applied to other places as well.
You do not want a person to cough on you in the middle of a baseball game. You do not want a person to sneeze on you as you are both riding public transportation. You do not want to see a person cover their sneeze with their hand and they use that hand to interact with other items. I am not a germaphobe, but you must admit that this is disgusting.
It is not fun to be sick. Being sick with the flu or the common cold is very inconvenient. You feel like dirt, you need to do other things and you just want to sleep. If we hate being sick, why do we want to pass it on to someone else? I would not feel great if I knew I passed on the common cold to someone else. It is not the worst thing in the world but I would feel responsible. This guilt is why when I had a cold, I put on a mask.
Two weeks ago, I felt ill. I was coughing and sneezing everywhere, so I decided to put on a surgical mask. At first, I felt weird being the only person with a mask on. Walking around, evincing to everyone that I was sick with my face covering. After a few days, my illness went away, and I was back in the land of the living. I felt great because I stopped my cold from infecting anyone else. I felt like a steward of the community.
Wearing a mask when you are sick can effortlessly help the community. The United States will not give you a medal of freedom for putting on a face-covering, but you will be helping others by not transferring your cold. If you hate colds as much as I do, join me in wearing a mask when you are sick.