22 Jun Why I Wear A Mask
By Steve Ahlenius
McAllen Chamber of Commerce President & CEO
Though different studies reach varying statistical conclusions about wearing masks, the overwhelming consensus is that masks help stem the transmission of COVID-19. Jeremy Howard of Australia has found 34 scientific papers (Masks4all.com) showing masks are effective in stopping the spread of the virus and there are no documents or studies proving otherwise. The National Institute of Health performed a video experiment that used lasers to illuminate the shower of droplets emitted when someone speaks and how a mask blocked nearly all of the droplets.
A statistical study done by scientists in the United States and Europe shows that if 80% of the population wore a mask, the infection rate for COVID-19 would drop by 90 percent. Obviously, the N95 masks have the best rate of stopping the virus, followed by surgical masks, and then cloth masks. Scientists theorize that wearing a mask reduces the amount of exposure to COVID-19 virus particles and can make a big difference in the severity of infection and recovery.
I know some people think wearing a mask is infringing on their personal freedom or is a political statement, but here is why I wear a mask:
- It is not about me. Our culture has grown into and has adopted a “me first” concept. We think and act as if the world revolved around us individually – and it doesn’t. We are losing the ability to put others first and to be able to recognize that sacrificing a little can help everyone, and goes a long way in benefitting the whole. If wearing a mask into a store is going to make someone else be more comfortable and feel safe, I’ll wear a mask.
- It helps businesses. If wearing a mask helps one more business to open up and stay open, I am going to wear a mask. Our business community has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic pain and harm done are enormous. If wearing a mask helps a business open and make money and survive, I am going to do it. We have launched several programs designed to assist businesses in getting through this moment. Still, all those programs and efforts will not matter if there is another shut-down because of a dramatic second surge or spike in COVID-19. I’ll wear a mask to support our local businesses.
- Change happens. Nobody wanted this pandemic. It has changed so many things in the way we do things and live. Guess what? Change is a part of life; those who can adapt and change and meet new opportunities are going to be the ones who succeed. Retail businesses changed from brick and mortar selling to online selling overnight. Schools went from in-person classrooms to virtual learning overnight. Restaurants went from dining in to curbside overnight. Change is happening all around us. Do you have the mindset to see new opportunities, or do you long for the way things used to be? I’ll wear a mask because it is about change and new opportunities.
You want to support local businesses, restaurants, your neighbors, and the healthcare system; then I suggest you wear a mask – I do.
Better, Stronger, Together