Letter to the Editor: Should Everyone Wear Masks?


Photo by Beko, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Dear Editor-in-Chief,

Should everyone wear masks?  

This is a question that has surfaced many times during the pandemic. Some say it is not necessary and is only a hassle, others say that masks are extremely effective, but we must pay more attention to the scientific evidence that contributes to this argument. 

 Many colleges (including DVC) have continued to mandate masks indoors in California, regardless of one’s vaccination status. There are many people who feel bothered by the mandate and may think to themselves, is wearing a face mask really that necessary?

Peter Chin-Hong, M.D., an infectious disease specialist, and George Rutherford, M.D., a UC San Francisco epidemiologist, speak of the science behind how masks prevent coronavirus on the UCSF website. They state that “an experiment using high-speed video found that hundreds of droplets ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers were generated when saying a simple phrase, but that nearly all these droplets were blocked when the mouth was covered by a damp washcloth.” Since we know that COVID-19 is most easily spread through small droplets and particles, this experiment is a strong piece of evidence that wearing masks is effective. 

 It is true that wearing a mask will not fully protect one from contracting COVID-19, because, as stated by Dr. Rutherford, “you could still catch the virus through the membranes in your eyes,” but wearing a simple cloth mask is a way to reduce the risk of unconsciously spreading the virus and possibly catching it. Although it is inevitable that people will have contrasting opinions, everyone should be aware of how important it is to do our part in protecting ourselves and our community. 

Aliyah Sims

El Cerrito, CA