Why is it important to wear a face mask?

This point of view is reflective of my experience as a Delaware resident. Laws and mandates vary by state.

Five months. It’s been nearly five months since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States.

Americans across the country are still struggling, and in some cases, refusing, to wear a face mask.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the use of a cloth face covering can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Carney’s public education campaign. Photo from Delaware.gov

In Delaware, it is required that you wear a face covering in public places. You cannot enter any establishment without one. It has been this way for months. Unfortunately, these are the new rules and we just have to follow them.

Although we are taught about germs and how to wash our hands at a very young age, the mandatory use of face masks is a pretty new concept.

There was an adjustment period, but it has ended. There’s no longer any questions or doubts about whether or not you will need a face mask when you go to a store or restaurant. Yet, many people still complain about the simple use of face coverings…

With so many negative things going on in the world today, why choose to complain about something that you cannot change? If the “worst” thing we have to do in this pandemic is wear a face mask when we are around others, I think we have it pretty good.

Here are some of my personal favorite reasons for wearing a face mask.

#1: It could save a life

By wearing your face mask in public, you could be saving someone else’s life by stopping or slowing the spread of potential germs. Better yet, you could be saving your own life!

We are so unsure about symptoms, contraction, and all things COVID-19. Wearing a face mask as an extra precaution to washing your hands is a small act of kindness to yourself and others.

#2: People in other countries have been wearing them for years

In many Asian countries, wearing a face mask is seen as being considerate. In fact, according to Cynthia Kim Beglin, wearing a mask shows others that you have good hygiene.

In an article on Psychology Today, Beglin recounts living in Tokyo. In 1984, she was told that civilians wore face masks when they didn’t feel well, in an effort to protect others.

Masks are worn widely in Asian countries. Photo from BBC.com

“Being uber polite and group-minded people, this made sense to me,” Beglin said. “They felt it was their civic duty to protect others.”

Among considerate and respective reasons, people in Asian countries still wear face masks to protect themselves during times of increased pollution. Face masks have even become stylish; people match them to their outfits like an accessory.

#3: You can start a fun collection of different colored masks to coordinate with outfits

The array of beautiful and creative face masks I have seen online and in person since this pandemic began is overwhelming. I’ve seen funky patterned masks, masks with faces and people on them, color changing masks, political masks- you name it.

I’ve hopped on board with the crazy mask collection. I figure, why not? If I’m going to be rocking a face mask, I might as well  be rocking it in style.

Dewey Beach Surf Shop, the store I’ve worked at for years, released a fun line of face masks this summer. So far, we have created four patterns that have been very popular. These masks can be seen on our Instagram page, @DeweyBeachSurfShop.

My favorite face mask by far is the one with my pets’ faces on it. I got it made by Pop Your Pup, and it is the cutest thing I have ever seen.

The print that is on my face mask. Photo by Pop Your Pup

#4: This is going to be a “thing” for a while

I don’t think anybody truly thought that the coronavirus pandemic would last this long. If it can affect our lives the way it has in the past few months, it can do much more.

If the “hardest” and “most restrictive” thing we have to do as Americans is wear a face mask as a courtesy while around others, I think we’ve got it pretty good.

Look at the glass half full. It could ALWAYS be worse.