Why I Wear A Mask

why I wear a mask

In a few weeks I will turn 70, which places me in a vulnerable age group for being infected with the Covid-19 virus. Also, I have a blood disorder.
A recent Bloomberg article listed blood clots as a symptom of Covid-19.

Blood — fever and inflammation may disrupt blood vessels, rendering blood cells more prone to clumping while interfering with the body’s ability to dissolve clots. That may trigger a clotting cascade that can lead to blood-vessel blockages in tissues and organs throughout the body. Life-threatening clots in the arteries of the lung, known as pulmonary emboli, may occur even after symptoms of the infection have resolved. Damaged blood vessels may become leaky and prone to bleeding. In children, inflammation of veins and arteries triggered by excessive immune activation may cause an illness similar to Kawasaki disease, an inflammatory disorder.
Masks are not meant to protect you – the person wearing it – but to protect others you may come in contact with. Since this virus can be asymptomatic, I consider wearing a mask a sign of respect and civic duty.
Do masks keep the virus from leaking out of one’s mouth? Not completely. If you are wearing a mask your particles can still reach me but there are less of them. Dr. Yuen Kwok-Yung, a microbiologist doctor at Hong Kong University, conducted an empirical research study which showed that the rate of transmission through respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by 75% by using masks (May, 2020).

What a mask does is that it decreases the momentum of the virus in the air. If I come in contact with someone wearing a mask the virus in the air decreases by 50%. That’s pretty significant.  And if everybody wore masks (because we now know that the virus can be asymptomatic) the chances of the virus in the air decreases by 80%.
Check out Dr. Yuen Kwok-Yung’s study on this video.

There are some who advocate not wearing a mask, nor confinement, nor social distancing so that we all can get the disease and therefore, we all can be immune to it. This approach presumes that everyone is healthy and no one has underlying health problems. One of my niece’s grandson has Kawasaki disease and in the past was hospitalized because of it. What would happen to him if he got the Covid-19? What would happen to me? Would I get only a little cold? What would happen to all those with heart conditions?
Another issue with this “lets all get the disease” is the capacity of our hospitals to be able to handle when everybody gets sick at the same time, thus spiking up the curve. Already as of May 22, 2020 , Medscape’s Corona Virus Resource Center lists healthcare workers who have already died from this virus. This list includes more than 1000 names from 64 countries. The youngest is 20, the eldest 99.
Go ahead, have a look at this list. These are real people. Someone’s mother, child, father, husband, wife, best friend.

Do we really need to overburden the health care system by overloading it? Flattening the curve is the main reason for these measures- which wearing a mask is one of them.
Of course, wearing a mask is not a full proof protection. You still have to use other precautions such as good hand hygiene, not touching your face and keeping social distancing.

I live on a beautiful and spacious island by the St Laurence seaway and when I go out to walk my dog, I don’t wear a mask and make sure to get fresh air into my lungs. Nor do I wear a mask when I am alone in my car driving.
But I do wear a mask when I go to the grocery store, the drugstore or even when picking up my coffee at Starbuck’s and any other place where there are people around. The person serving me wears a mask to protect me. It is only common curtesy, I feel, for me to also protect her or him.
I realize that there are those who will disagree with me and think that wearing a mask is a joke. If I got infected with this disease because you did not believe in wearing a mask I would not be laughing.


Finally, some people may find that wearing a mask is unattractive. My friend, Lomer, made me a few, including the one I’m wearing on this post. It has two layers of cotton separated by mesh. I like wearing it because it’s pretty and hides my wrinkles! 😊

64 thoughts on “Why I Wear A Mask

  1. I couldn’t possibly agree with you more, Carol, about the importance of wearing a mask. A person might think, ‘Well, I’m healthy, and so is _____, who’s next to me having a beer.’ But one person can spread the virus to many others. What’s worse, those people can spread the virus to their children/elderly relatives/immuno-compromised friends/just about anyone else. It’s not just self-protection (although, as you say, it does help a lot). It’s respect for all of the people you will never meet who will not now get the virus, because you were careful. I look at it this way: Am I willing to be responsible for the death of someone else? No. So, I wear a mask.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, you are so kind, Anneli. I’m glad you found the article informative. It’s all pretty up to date research. I was particularly struck by the 1000 care workers who died. Also, I was very impressed by Dr. Yuen Kwok-Yung’s biography. The Asians are way ahead of us on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My spouse, the Alpha Japanese Female, is puzzled by the resistance some show toward masks. Of course she comes from a culture that by habit dons a face mask at the first sniffle. “It’s simply the polite thing to do ” she says as she gives the hairy eyeball to the barbarians who eschew a mask.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sadly, I suppose there will always be people who just don’t care…that’s why I like to hang out on WordPress. 🙂 Your mask is a beautiful color on you, Carol. I’ve only been out once since March 17th. I had to go to the hospital for my Remicade infusion. They provided me with a mask as I’m still waiting for my hummingbird mask to be delivered. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jill, I hope that you get your mask soon. However, being inside gives you time to work on ideas for another book. I am looking forward to reading your latest coming out this summer.

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  4. I, too, am turning 70 in a few weeks and I wear a mask every time I go out…which is not very often. I am outraged when people don’t follow the 6’ distancing and the few times I have ventured out, I could feel the person behind me breathing down my neck. I said something the first time and I almost walked out, due to their comment. They’re shooting people who try to enforce the rules. I just think it’s a shame. It’s not a matter of “freedom.” It’s a matter of consideration.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You and I have pretty much the same approach. I never see people in my neighborhood in a mask–outside–but we are all a distance apart and not standing in groups. I’m also in the vulnerable group. It’s not hard to be cautious.

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    • You’re right, Jacqui, here if I meet someone on my daily walks and stop to chat we always stand apart. People here, in my neighbourhood, really respect the social distancing rules. But guess what? On Saturday, I went outside my neighbourhood for a walk in a park with my dog and my daughter and her dog. This park is close to her home and is considered a hot spot. I was the only peson wearing a mask and there was not very much social distancing happening. Funny, eh?

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  6. I’m sorry to hear about the blood disease! Yes, a mask by all means. I’ve seen people debating masks on Facebook for outdoor spaces. I can’t imagine wearing one to run or bike ride, except for the short duration times when you’re close to others. And why wear one in one’s own car? But around others, yes yes yes. Very interesting info you give here, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for sharing!!.. I too wear a mask when needed, for my protection as well as a courtesy to others… many that I know don’t wear a mask simply out of arrogance and believing they will not get infected… however, should they do get sick, they will want to be the first one into the lifeboat… “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom”. (Isaac Asimov)… 🙂

    Hope all is well in your part of the universe and all your tomorrows are filled with love and happiness and life is all that you wish for it to be… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I love the Asimov quote! You always post such inspiring quotes. Thank you. ❤
      And thank you for your lovely wishes. They are much appreciated and bring a smile to my heart. ❤

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  8. Thanks Carol. You’ve made an excellent synthesis of why we should wear masks in the presence of others for the foreseeable future. I vote for you as the next Arruda…and I will think of your kind caring for others every time I don my mask.
    Let’s make sure we keep on smiling …our eyes can witness to it.
    Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Brava my friend! You covered it all. Although, I will add that masks do protect us too. I feel a lot safer in a grocery store with one on around someone who isn’t wearing one. I love your mask and you look beautiful. No way in the world would I ever have thought you were reaching that mild stone! Happy Beautiful Birthday Carol! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, Debby, you know how much I love having you visit my blog! ❤ This to wear or not to wear has become such a controversy. Here, in Montreal, the hot spots happen to be where people don't wear masks nor practice social distancing. Odd! In response, Montreal now offers free masks to anyone taking the transportation system in these hot spots. Police officers are instructed to check who isn't wearing a mask and rather than give them a ticket they hand them a mask. 🙂
      Thank you so much for your warm birthday wishes. You are so sweet! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just the truth Carol. ❤ And yes, like I keep saying, if our Premieres would just say it officially – wear a damn mask when out in public around people, it's mandatory, it would avoid so many shop owners from senseless confrontrations from the non-believers! ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I completely agree with you, Carol. You summed it up beautifully. As members of society, we not only have rights, but obligations as well (a matter too many seem to forget) and if a small gesture like wearing a mask can protect the more vulnerable around us, it’s ridiculous not to do it.
    Happy early birthday, Carol! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • There are also people you don’t wear a mask because they’ve already been infected and have become immune to the virus. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell, but I can see that Trump hasn’t set a good example. Take care, Josie. ❤

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