As Covid-19 continues to spread across the globe and within our lives, we each have a common goal of reducing the rate of infections. Many are taking severe precautions such as 'shielding' by staying at home as much as possible, at the same time, others who must continue to work are wearing protective face masks and gloves, including following social distancing guidelines such as standing at least 1m apart and washing hands regularly.
Dr Mark Smolinski from the United States, who is an infectious disease physician and president of Ending Pandemics, explains in a news article posted in Forbes magazine why wearing a mask both helps to stop the spread of Covid-19 and shows respect for others.
He explains that wearing a mask during a pandemic is not only a must to protect one another from the risk of infection, especially as the rate of asymptomatic infections is quite high, but also a sign of mutual respect for one another as a community.
He quotes 'Wearing a mask is a true sign of respect for others; it is not an impingement on one's freedom'. He continues to explain that he is both disappointed and saddened by those who are choosing not to wear a mask when out in public, persisting the illness and death rate.
As a public health physician, he goes into detail about the next steps we must take with the idea that we can move forward with restoring some parts of our lives with social distancing- if completed by everybody. He goes on to say the 'bad behaviour' of a few individuals is what will keep this virus present. If we all want to enjoy what's left of 2020, we can choose to work together to protect one another by wearing a face mask when in public while following the guidelines set for us.
He adds that people need to return to work, to see their friends and to enjoy sunny afternoons in public spaces. If we work together sharing this mutual respect by wearing a mask in public, together we can beat coronavirus. He then concludes with the world's population, explaining that the United States is less than five percent of the global community. Yet, it represents one-quarter of the global deaths from Covid-19 further quoting 'we all have to do our part to curb this pattern. Wearing a mask, along with social distancing and hand washing, does not seem too much to ask if we are insistent on opening up society once again'.