Campus Emily Henderson Feature Sep 8 2020

Masks for all is new campus policy



The CDC has asked that all Americans over the age of two and those without certain health conditions wear face coverings while out in public, or in an area where social distancing is virtually impossible.

Alma College has adopted these policies as part of their reopening process this fall. This rule states that students must wear face coverings when not in their dorm room.

Many have questioned whether face coverings are able to slow the spread of this virus, or if we’re simply told to wear them to offer ourselves peace of mind during this global pandemic.

“Several studies have now been conducted that demonstrate wearing masks helps to decrease the transmission of the virus from infected individuals to others,” said Assistant Professor of Biology, Eric Calhoun.

Some fear that wearing a face covering may cause a buildup of carbon dioxide, which can be deadly to the wearer. There has been no evidence that this is the case, so mask wearers can rest easy knowing that when they exhale their CO2 isn’t lingering in the cloth.

Another reason why some without underlying conditions are choosing not to wear a mask during this pandemic may be due to comfort. Face coverings were often ditched in summer months due to hot days and swampy masks. They have also been causing a new phenomenon — mask acne.

While those may be the case, there are some that are unable to leave their home without fear of falling ill with the coronavirus.

“Data show that if I contract COVID-19, I’m twice as likely to die than the average patient. [If you] take into account my age, that increases the odds of death even more.”

Instructor of Geology and Environmental Studies, Murray Borrello

The use of face coverings does not just affect the user, but those around them as well. Those of high risk of death include individuals over the age of 85 and those with underlying health conditions.

“More than 186,000 people have died in the United States due to SARS-CoV-2. This is not a hoax.”

Assistant Professor of Biology, Eric Calhoun

New studies on this virus are coming out each day, and with them a breadth of knowledge not known beforehand. A recent study conducted by the CDC found that many individuals guilty of spreading this virus were asymptomatic. The importance of wearing a mask in public is becoming more evident through time, as experts still do not know everything about the novel coronavirus.

There are many different types of face coverings on the market as of late. From the traditional surgical mask to neck gaiters, and everything in-between, individuals have a plethora of options to choose from when mask shopping. Not all face masks are created equal, however.

The CDC, as well as other health organizations, have done a myriad of studies to discover which face coverings work the best in the face of the novel coronavirus.

“With the cloth or surgical mask, the distance the droplets traveled was significantly reduced; down to right around only a foot from the mask,” said Calhoun.

The use of a face covering has been proven through various scientific studies to be a good combatant in the fight against COVID-19.

Some may not refute this data but have other reasons as to why they feel as though they should not Masks for all is new campus policy be told to wear a mask while in public or around others.

“Some people feel that being asked to wear a mask, or required to wear a mask, is an infringement of their individual rights. And they would be wrong,” said Borrello.

The use of a face covering is important in the fight against the novel coronavirus, and all students must adhere to the Alma College policies and continue to wear their masks when not in their dorm rooms.

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