Do We Need A Law To Make Everyone Wear A Mask During COVID 19?

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  1. Sharlee01 profile image85
    Sharlee01posted 15 months ago
    On another thread here at Hubpages, some have brought up the subject of the possibility we may need a law to enforce citizens to wear a mask when in public.

    In my view, a law in regards to protecting the health of citizens in a society should be well-founded, with medical information that the law will benefit the health of its citizens.  In the case of COVID19  would a mask law perhaps do more harm than good?  My education is in Nursing,  the science of nursing, and Microbiology.  I consider myself well educated on the subject of when to wear a mask, and when not too.  I base this not only on my education but 22 years of caring for patients with various degrees of infectious disease.

    The facts are a mask can be beneficial if worn correctly with other precautions to enhance the probability it will work to decrease the spread of diseases,. A mask can be detrimental to one's health if used improperly, it can actually spread disease and offer a false sense of security that can lead to an increased chance of contracting a disease such as COVID.   The masks many citizens are wearing to help prevent COVID crisis provide little to no protection against the virus. 

    Studies show wearing a mask can increase the spread of a virus just by how you take it off It is also a good possibility many people are using the same masks over and over during a given day, at best perhaps washing the mask at the end of the day. Consider how medical staff utilizes a fresh mask frequently during patient care. Each time one enters a patient's room the mask is fresh and tossed in a bio-hazard bin upon leaving the patient's room. After removing the mask a medical expert will immediately wash their hands to remove any contaminate they picked up from mask removal. These procedures are done to keep anything outside of that patient's room,  a clean space.

    So,  let's explore wearing a mask due to a law that requires one to wear a mask in public.  Let's assume one just makes a simple outing to the grocery store.  Upon leaving your car you put on your mask, you have entered a store with your mask in place. You do your shopping, and perhaps your mask collects virus particles.  On the way to your car you remove your mask, you know have contaminated your hands.  You reach for the handle of your car, your car is now contaminated, as well as your steering wheel and that cell phone you reached for as well as the radio buttons you just pushed. Actually, if you used your cell on the way home your face is now contaminated, and the virus now has reached its mark to infect you... So, did that mask serve you well or did it set you up for becoming infected with COVID?

    For that mask to have done its job you would have needed a clean mask every time you approach a dirty space, you would have needed to put a clean mask on in your car, you would have needed to take that mask off after exiting the store dispose of it, clean your hands properly before touching your car door, which is one of your clean spaces. Now I ask how many in our society following these rules? I think my first example is what most are doing.

    If we need a mask law --- Perhaps we might also need a law to make sure we all carry hand-sanitizer, and all must wipe one's car down each time it is driven.  Do you realize the virus can land on the surface of your clothing, and remain a contaminate for a given length of time.?  Will we need also need a law that says we need to wear sterile gowned in public?  Will we need large bins to collect all the PPE''s we will be utilized in public spaces? I will be blunt. A mask gives little to no protection from the virus if not used properly. In fact, it can become a true danger to some. Plus, unfortunately, most of the masks citizens are wearing are porous to the virus.

    If you really want to decrease your chances of getting this virus, social distance, don't touch your face, and wash your hands after being in public, and for now, stay out of large crowds. Keep your car and home as clean safe spaces. You do this by just considering to sanitize your hands before entering your car and your home every time you go out in public. This will cut down on what contaminates you are bringing into your car, your home.

    If you choose to wear a mask,  consider it contaminated after worn once. Do not bring a mask you wore in public into your car or your home, and remember to dispose of it before you clean your hands, and open that car door. If you have kept your car as a clean space, you can enter your home without feeling your bringing in any virus from your car into your home. If you have contaminated your car with a mask, make sure to clean your hands before entering your home.  Consider your car a contaminated space if you are reusing a mask.  I think you can see my point. A mask can cause more problems than they solve.

    Hopefully, I have shared some of my knowledge, and experience on when and how to utilize a mask. Maybe this will work to clarify why I do not wear a mask in public unless I am in a small space, and I follow mask protocol to ensure my chances of picking up the virus are small.   I keep clean spaces clean with the many procedures I shared with you. But, this comes easy to me due to me practicing these precautions for many years as a nurse. So, when you wear your mask, do you feel do all the things I do? 

    I don't think that most people have any idea about the dangers a mask can pose if not used properly. Most are blindly wearing them due to Governors telling them to do so.

    So, I guess if we had a mask law, I would be frequently ticketed. But, somewhat safer from the virus than those that created and followed the mask law.

    I want to share my opinion on how to decrease your chances of contract COVID19 --- Keep safe spaces by using good hand cleansing, and not bringing a possibly contaminated mask into your safe spaces (car and home) social distances. If you are in a  confined space wear a mask,  toss it out after wearing or store it in a plastic bag until it can be laundered. Launder it by pouring boiling water over it.

    No law will protect you from COVID. In fact, it may just make you sick...

    What is your feeling in regard to passing a law that will call for all to wear a mask in public

    WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION -- When to wear a mask.

    If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19.
    Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
    Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly. … -use-masks … -home.html

    1. GA Anderson profile image91
      GA Andersonposted 15 months agoin reply to this

      That was a good comment Sharlee, so let me give you my less-informed perspective of wearing a mask.

      It is not to protect me, it is to protect others—if I am infected. As you mentioned, the mask—used under best-practices recommendations— would only protect me from inhaling the virus, it would still be on me and my clothes.

      I doubt many people will follow the 'clean environment' you speak of, (cars, clothes, single-use masks, etc), recommendations, so my view is that a mask is next to useless for protecting the wearer.

      Like you, I focus on social distancing in public places, (but I am not fearful of 'passing' someone else in a grocery aisle—as I don't linger around them), but I also wear a mask in these environments in consideration of other folks' health—not mine.

      Maybe that is the wrong way to look at it, but since I don't have a box of N95 masks to draw from for single-use practices it seems the only logical perspective for me.


      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 15 months agoin reply to this

        +1  That's my perspective as well.  My car will be contaminated if I get ill, as will my house.  My clothes and yes, my mask, too.  Not much I can do about that, but perhaps I can help protect someone else if I'm contaminated and don't know it.  A mask is a small price to pay for that.

        1. Sharlee01 profile image85
          Sharlee01posted 15 months agoin reply to this

          If you are contaminated and unaware you can shed virus from your hands. The mask can stop a cough or a sneeze, otherwise, it's useless in protecting others from the virus.    It's hands that shed the virus. Your hands due to shedding can move the virus from surface to surface.

          So, if you hope to protect others due to perhaps having COVID and not realizing it, you need to wear gloves to stop any virus shedding from your hands.

        2. Sharlee01 profile image85
          Sharlee01posted 15 months agoin reply to this

          I have been pondering our conversation. It is clear you are a very intelligent person, I have respect for your opinion. I will admit I was perplexed by what seemed you thought that we may need a "law that all wear masks in public".

          The point of my lengthy tutorial on mask safety was really to point out that perhaps we as a society if told to do something, anything, we should look into the actual need to comply. Especially when considering our health. It seemed to me you may have been in favor of creating a law that would make it mandatory to wear masks in public temporarily. Perhaps not considering the pros and cons of such a law.

          Would such a blanketing law benefit our society in a positive way? Is there a true need for such a law, and would it benefit our society as a whole? In the case of wearing a mask is there scientific evidence that wearing a mask would actually benefit our society?

          My tutorial was meant to show just a bit of the science in regards to mask protocol, to point out when a mask is effective, and when it is really just a covering over one's face that can end up being be nothing but a petri dish.

      2. Sharlee01 profile image85
        Sharlee01posted 15 months agoin reply to this

        "But I also wear a mask in these environments in consideration of other folks' health—not mine."

        This shows a wonderful consideration of others. And to be truthful I would predict you won't contact COVID due to wearing a mask without following any protocol. I can understand your logic, especially due to many contracting COVID and never having a symptom. Let me just give you something to think about. If you are hoping not to spread COVID you need to wear gloves. Yes, gloves...  The virus is more likely to be passed due to contact (unless one cough or sneezes.)  hands can move the virus from your hands then surface to surface, and then to one's face.   The mask is considerate, but gloves, they really do the trick to stop you from spreading shedding the virus if you are unaware you might be a carrier of the virus and want to protect others.

        The only reason for my long mask scenario was my way of pointing to Wilderness the reasons I felt it unrealistic as well as unfair to consider making it a law that everyone would require everyone to wear a mask in public. I had hoped to convince him it would be impinging on my rights and made every attempt to explain why I would not appreciate or follow such a law.  I relied on my education to explain the pros and cons of wearing a face mask. I used mask protocol to impress him with why I would not wear a mask, other than in a space I could not use social distances.

        And no, I am sure not many would consider using mask protocol. But, I would think some might just think a bit differently about wearing a mask just because their Government told them to.

        1. GA Anderson profile image91
          GA Andersonposted 15 months agoin reply to this

          As I mentioned Sharlee, your OP was an informative one. I can't imagine a one-size-fits-all mask law that I would support. But I do support the concept of requiring masks in specific voluntary situations. Not as a matter of laws, but as a matter of common consideration.

          There is no cost beyond ideological forbearance. Big deal, one may think it infringes your Rights, but what is the actual costs of compliance? Bless their hearts, they might have to consider someone besides themselves.


          1. Sharlee01 profile image85
            Sharlee01posted 15 months agoin reply to this

            As I mentioned I do wear am mask in close quarters. "The cost of compliance"?  The cost could be a society that will comply without question or reason to wearing a mask in public. And be willing to consider it a new norm, a norm that makes no scientific sense.

  2. profile image0
    PrettyPantherposted 15 months ago

    No, we do not need a law. It would only exacerbate the unfortunate political dicide.

    What we sorely need is calm, clear, consistent  leadership. We don't have it at the federal level so this clusterf@ck will continue indefinitely.

  3. Sharlee01 profile image85
    Sharlee01posted 15 months ago

    I would be against a mask law too. However, I don't think this issue would affect the "great divide". I have a feeling their are tons of frightened people in the country that would support such a law.  Even among friends, I have noted many feel a mask should become part of our lives for the long term. It seems to give some form of security, all it be false security.

  4. Credence2 profile image81
    Credence2posted 15 months ago

    I don't see "the mask" as a solution that we are resigned to, indefinitely. After the viable availability of a vaccine, perhaps we can begin to get back to a pre-virus normal, hopefully. I don't think that we need a law requiring everyone to wear a mask in public. But, I as owner of a business establishment reserve the right to require patrons to wear masks in my establishment for safety and health reasons. Someone else's rights have to end where my nose begins.

    But, as I fear, we have not seen the last of these pandemics which become increasingly more virulent with each pass. The way that we have related to one another may be permanently changed.

    I understand your concern about masks presenting their own problems, but surely the protection that they afford the wearer and others is worth it.

    1. Sharlee01 profile image85
      Sharlee01posted 15 months agoin reply to this

      If you have a business where social distancing is impossible, I would agree with those that work for you and those that enter your space should wear a mask just in case someone should cough or sneeze in your small space. 

      I don't tend to fear something that just may not happen. I prefer to be positive that we will soon have a vaccine or better yet COVID will mutate and fizzle out on its own.  No predictions, just hoping.

  5. MG Singh profile image55
    MG Singhposted 15 months ago

    It's easy to pass a law making mask-wearing compulsory but I think it will be difficult to enforce. What punishments can one think of for not wearing a mask?  And is the mask all that really essential? There are so many questions but no answers. All I can say is that its a difficult choice.

    1. Sharlee01 profile image85
      Sharlee01posted 15 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, a  law such as this would be hard to enforce. Many as myself realize a mask can be detrimental due to being educated in when and when not to wear a mask. Many Governors have placed orders that masks are mandatory while in public. This week WHO, as well as Dr..Fauci has come out with recommendations on when to wear a mask. The governors, unfortunately, have not lifted the mask regulations.

      It seems to me many have come to think masks in public are necessary, and here to stay. Possibly providing those that wear them a false sense of security.  Many rely on science, maybe it's time to look into the science of when a mask is helpful, and when a mask is harmful. … -use-masks … f-context/


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