Masks: To wear or not to wear? – South Alabamian

§ July 8th, 2020 § Filed under Nano Medicine Comments Off on Masks: To wear or not to wear? – South Alabamian

I had the good fortune of nearly losing a friend to coronavirus.

My friend went through the full treatment, ICU, ventilator, everything, and lived to tell the tale.

While he fought, his friends and loved ones hoped, suffered and prayed. Many of us also vowed to take COVID- 19 seriously. If it could hit him so hard, nothing was stopping it from tiptoeing through our lives like a horde of hippos in tutus.

Our family has taken the conservative approach of wearing masks and social distancing whenever necessary. It goes back to basic germ theory thats been around for hundreds of years.

Our ancestors discovered that many of their illnesses were caused by microscopic organisms floating in the air. My mask captures tiny droplets of water from my nose and mouth that would have otherwise escaped. Your mask does the same, so we keep potential illnesses to ourselves.

Thats the theory behind doctors and nurses wearing masks all day in operating rooms.

Since COVID- 19 hit the scene, Ive heard a lot about PPE, which is personal protective equipment. I thought it was limited to medicine, but then I called a friend who is a veteran with decades of military service.

Hes more worried about this illness than any time spent in a war zone. His health issues combined with COVID could be deadly, and hes concerned that his fellow citizens arent taking masks as seriously as they should.

He was at a gathering of farflung family, and everyone was sitting away from each other and wearing masks. Then a relative came in without a mask and wanted to hug my friends young niece.

When the others stopped him, the newcomer said, If I get it, I get it.

Its a common sentiment. Ive heard it from a bunch of people on Facebook, Twitter and TV.

When I was in Afghanistan, I never took off my PPE, waved my hands and said, If the Taliban gets me, they get me, my friend said.

I like to steer clear of politics when Im writing. Its not because I dont have strong opinions; its because Ive learned a thing or two about human nature over the years.

Peoples politics are deeply held parts of their identities. Thats true for me and, Ive found, most everybody else.

If I were to attack your favorite politician, you wouldnt consider the logic of my argument because you would be too invested in your argument.

Im not picking on you. I would feel the same way. If you want me to pay attention, dont slam my deeply held beliefs.

But our identities are complex.

I know a lot of people who have different views on politics than I have, but theyre still my friends. In fact, anytime I actually do reconsider my political views is because of them: Theyre good people, so how come theyre so wrong? Is it me?

Usually, its them, but I digress.

The wearing of a mask and social distancing is not about politics. Its about protecting friends and family. Its about protecting teammates and fellow citizens. And, really, its about protecting ourselves.

My friend who had COVID- 19 didnt fight his way through the ICU so he could be an object lesson. He simply did what it took to survive.

My friend who served in Afghanistan didnt wear PPE to teach us any lessons either.

Still, wed be wise to learn from them both during these so very strange days.

M. Scott Morris is a former editor of The South Alabamian.

Hes an English teacher living in Tupelo, Mississippi.

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Masks: To wear or not to wear? - South Alabamian

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