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Column: Why students should take wearing face masks more seriously

Wearing a mask shouldn’t be an option during the age of COVID-19. Since the virus has made its way to the United States, the country has struggled to keep it under control. And one of the main reasons for this is the leniency regarding wearing a mask.

Although it’s required to wear a mask on-campus since school started on Aug. 17, the city of Valdosta just recently required masks to be worn in public areas on Aug. 15.

Students should practice taking safety precautions for the virus all the time, not just when they are on campus. Especially if we want the University to remain open.

Students are going to want to hang out with friends and go out to enjoy off-campus activities. But just because we are back on campus, doesn’t mean we can forget about safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Face coverings play a huge role in reducing the spread of the virus because it protects you and prevents other people from contracting the virus. According to the Control, “Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.”

Wearing a mask is a good place to start, but the effort to slow the rates of catching the virus requires a bit more. “Face masks combined with other preventative measures such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the virus,” says the .

Therefore, students should not rely solely on their masks to keep them safe. According to Dean Blumberg of UC Davis, new research on face coverings shows that the risk of infection to the wearer is decreased by 65 percent.

It’s important to remember that when you wear a cloth face covering or reusable mask, they should be worn once and washed immediately afterwards before wearing it again.

Students need to also keep in mind the fact that the virus can be spread by asymptomatic people. Even if you or other people aren’t showing symptoms, there is still a chance that you could be spreading the virus if masks aren’t being used properly.

Not wearing a mask is not only selfish because you are putting others at risk, but it also puts you at risk of contracting the virus. Don’t let a decision of not wearing an object as simple as a mask determine a person’s likely hood of becoming ill and potentially losing their life.

Written by Camille Ham,Staff Writer. Photo courtesy of Pexels.

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