argument top image

Should masks be worn by the public to stop the coronavirus? Show more Show less
Back to question

Wearing masks has become a contentious issue in the United States at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. From concerns of personal freedom, to skepticism over their effectiveness, to worries of government control. The mask seem to prove effective in other cultures. All of this leaves us with the question... should masks be worn by the public to stop the coronavirus?

Yes, facemasks should be worn by the public. Show more Show less

Facemask use can slow the spread of the pandemic, and can improve public health, and should be worn.
(1 of 2) Next position >

Facemasks help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading it to others

Facemasks offer a layer of protection to the person who wears it that helps in inhibiting the further spread of the coronavirus.

The Argument

The Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) recommends that every person wear a face mask in public settings and around others who don't live in your household unless under the age of two or have an exempting medical condition, such as severe asthma or chronic lung disease[1]. Face masks cover a person's nose and mouth, the two easiest ways for a virus to enter the body; a cloth barrier protects both the person wearing a mask and others around them. Facemasks prevent people from spraying droplets (which could contain the virus) onto others; several studies have proven that fabric is enough to stop the droplets that come from a person's mouth as they speak[2][3]. In January, a man who tested positive for COVID-19 flew from China to Toronto and wore a mask the entire flight. All twenty-five people within close-contact surprisingly tested negative for the virus, proving a facemask is extremely effective[4]. If everyone who is medically able to wear a mask does, the spread of the coronavirus will be greatly reduced. The mandates and recommendations to wear a mask in public have allowed areas around the world to return to a somewhat normal life again; people can return to work, go shopping, etc, without less anxiety about spreading or catching the coronavirus.

Counter arguments

Opponents of the facemask claim that wearing it causes a person to inhale their own carbon dioxide, which can be harmful. Though scientists have debunked this conspiracy with cloth and surgical face masks, the N95 mask can be dangerous. According to infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, if an N95 mask can alter a person's blood chemistry and consciousness level if worn for a long period of time[5]. Wearing a mask may be helpful to society in lowering the spread of COVID-19, but be careful about what type of mask to choose and for how long you wear it.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprevent-getting-sick%2Fcloth-face-cover.html
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2007800
  3. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2#Sec3
  4. https://www.cmaj.ca/content/192/15/E410
  5. https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/does-wearing-face-mask-increase-co2-levels
This page was last edited on Saturday, 4 Jul 2020 at 00:50 UTC