North Texas Daily

Texas should have implemented the use of face masks earlier

Texas should have implemented the use of face masks earlier

Texas should have implemented the use of face masks earlier
April 30
08:00 2020

The coronavirus has caused not only moral panic, but mass confusion for the public as well. This is no form of exaggeration either, moral panic is very evident every time I go shopping for basic items. The confusion stems from misconceptions about the coronavirus, with one being the use of facial masks and how effective they truly are. There are legitimate concerns about their effectiveness, but Texas should have implemented the use of face masks a lot sooner rather than later.

Though many counties in Texas have already implemented the use of face masks ranging from Dallas to Harris county, not every county in Texas has given mandates for shoppers to wear a mask at all times when they are out in public. This is problematic because Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott was quicker to reopen businesses in Texas than he was acting on enforcing a face mask order that could have helped prevent the spread of the coronavirus. I’m not saying that Abbott is solely to blame as we are all learning about this deadly virus together, but we should take into account the positives of wearing a face mask when we go out in public.

The first positive aspect of wearing a face mask is it helps you prevent the spread of the virus to others. Whether you have the virus or not, it is best to act like you do have it so you can take measures to protect others from getting the virus. If a person coughs or sneezes into their mask, the number of particles which travel through the mask is significantly reduced. A second benefit is the mask acts as a barrier that will keep you from directly touching your mouth or nose. One should still stay cautious of the mask after taking it off though.

How effective are masks really though? It all depends on what mask you’re wearing, according to an article by Live Science. The article states surgical masks are not recommended by the CDC as there are currently shortages of these masks available for health professionals to use, but the mask itself is not as effective because it doesn’t seal completely against the face. Homemade fabric masks are generally recommended by the CDC because they are easy to make at home in case one doesn’t have access to surgical masks as they tend to cut down respiratory droplets like coughs or sneezes.

Yes, there are feasible arguments on both sides of this issue but doctors have gone on television to promote the wearing of face masks and even the CDC encourages citizens to practice wearing fabric masks as well.

Texas is in a rush to reopen businesses during this time of quarantine when we should have been the first to encourage face masks and social distancing. I feel it was important for Texas politicians to have taken the virus more serious as it began to spread in America during mid-January. Texas lawmakers already knew of the potential dangers of this virus well in advance before the general public had any idea. There was no way to completely beat the spread of the virus, but the impact could’ve been significantly diminished if citizens in every county of every state abided by the guidelines set by the CDC.

Most importantly, political figures should have set an example for citizens in taking this virus seriously which Texas lawmakers evidently failed to do so until it was too late.

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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