EDITORIAL: Wear a mask and be part of the solution

Keywords Editorials / Opinion

This is not an editorial commending government officials—or criticizing them—for their policies related to wearing masks in public. The team that determines the direction of IBJ editorials can’t actually agree on whether government mask mandates are a good idea.

Instead, this editorial is about personal responsibility. It’s about keeping our coworkers, our neighbors and our family members safe. It’s about choosing to do the thing that is best for our society and your workplace and our community in this moment.

And we believe that means wearing a mask when you can’t be socially distant from those around you.

Medical experts say that wearing a mask prevents you from propelling droplets that could contain the coronavirus into the air when you talk, sing or shout—not just when you cough or sneeze.

And it’s not safe to think you don’t need to wear a mask because you’re not sick. As many as 40% of people who have tested positive for the virus did not have symptoms. And epidemiologists say the virus can spread even when those who are contaminated aren’t showing symptoms.

So, for the sake of those around you, wear a mask.

Many medical experts also say that a mask—even a homemade cloth mask—can decrease the number of droplets you inhale, which could reduce your risk of catching the virus.

But you probably know these things. If you are reading this editorial, it’s likely that you have also read at least some of the thousands of news stories explaining the science behind recommendations for wearing a mask.

Still, many people have resisted wearing a mask. For some, a mask is a sign of weakness. For others, masks have become political. And of course, there are a few for whom wearing a mask is uncomfortable to the point of claustrophobia or causing breathing problems.

For almost everyone, wearing a mask is annoying. Really annoying.

But aside from those people for whom wearing a mask is debilitating, we are confident that Hoosiers can look beyond any defensiveness about the idea of wearing a mask and see the societal reasons to just do it.

This might require taking a moment to reframe your thinking.

It is not a sign of weakness to wear a mask. It is a sign that you are a responsible and compassionate person.

It is not giving in to the pandemic. It is just the opposite. It is the way we push forward with our personal and professional lives without spreading a disease that—if left unchecked—will continue to wreak havoc on our economy.

We’re not asking you to like wearing a mask. We’re just asking you to do it regardless.•


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3 thoughts on “EDITORIAL: Wear a mask and be part of the solution

  1. Why are there no “BIOHZARD” bins for masks and gloves if this virus is so contagious and deadly?

    Shouldn’t the board of health require that once you sneeze or cough into your facial covering it be bagged/cleaned and then replaced with a new covering so as you are not recirculating the virus within you covering?

    13 million globally have C-19 over a 1+ billion get the annual flu and there is supposed be a vaccine. (John Hopkins)

  2. I have the same question as Steve R. I think the mandate to wear masks in Marion County or any city and state should be made on facts and research. The Assn. of American Physicians and Surgeons seem to have done theirs. Check out this link and think twice about calling non-mask wearing citizen “slackers”. https://aapsonline.org/mask-facts/

    1. Hmmm… I could not find anything to back up the aapsonline recommendation, plus the page is more than an month old.

      You might want to check some other sources, since these guy might have a vested interest in making sure doctors and surgeons have a good supply of masks. There may be a conflict there.