The politics of wearing a mask

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Photo courtesy of Pixabay

These strange times have caused the pandemic to become a hot political topic.

Masks have somewhat become a norm for many with the ongoing pandemic. However, with all of the craziness that has come with 2020, wearing a mask has seemed to spark the most controversy.

In July of this year, Governor Greg Abbot mandated Texans to wear masks in public.

The Texas Tribune reported, “The order requires Texans living in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in a business or other building open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible.”

With talks of a shut-down in Texas and a clear divide between the mask wearers and the non-mask wearers, it begs the question “Is wearing a mask a political statement?”

“I do not think wearing a mask is a political statement. People should wear them for the protection of others,” said senior advertising and public relations major, Nic Clifton.

It is evident that some take wearing masks more seriously than others. There are some who simply do not see the need for one at this current time.

While people may have different views regarding masks and if they are seen as political or not, a poll taken from the Pew Research Center center mentions that, “Republicans mention that masks or mask wearing more than Democrats when asked how COVID-19 pandemic has made their life difficult or challenging.”

When googling how effective a mask is in preventing coronavirus, there are pages upon pages of results and different studies that show the science behind masks and how they can save lives and prevent people from getting infected. However, when digging deep enough, there are also articles that have reported how masks can be ineffective.

“With the rise in the area, I am worried because this pandemic became a political issue and not a humanitarian issue. I know that people don’t like to wear masks but for the safety of others and yourself, I wish people would wear their masks,” saidClifton.

Along with the many issues rising regarding politics and the pandemic it can be a very tough subject. Now with the holidays in full swing, it now seems like it is up to each individual to determine how safe and distanced they want to be.
“I feel like people are taking this as a joke. Some are being careless and it’s affecting people’s lives and they don’t seem to care, that needs to be changed,” said junior animal science major, Ustina Guirguis.

With much talk of new and effective vaccines, there is really no telling how long this pandemic will continue. Regardless of one’s political standing and feelings towards the pandemic, the best each and everyone can do until then is stay safe and do what they can to protect themselves as well as others.

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