Are Masks Effective Against Coronavirus?

Are Masks Effective Against Coronavirus?

Marlin Dessources and Isabelle Harper

2020 has been a year filled with uncertainty and disaster.  The CDC recommends that we stay six feet apart and wear masks. Many question if wearing masks is really effective. We wear them to school, sports practices, the grocery store, and anywhere we may come in close contact with people. We see everyone wearing a mask, but the number of infected cases continue to rise. Are the masks doing anything to stop covid-19?


Yolanda Enrich, a family nurse practitioner, is not at all phased about the rumors of it being a “political issue.” She insists that, “the purpose of the mask is to not only protect yourself, but to protect those around you.” Unfortunately, she didn’t give a solution for individuals who are unable to wear a mask. She says, “Cloth face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.” This still leaves us with a very important question: Do masks work, and are they effective when combating COVID. 


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention who found in a control experiment that “42 (1.8%) participants in the “mask recommendation” group were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 compared to 53 (2.1%) participants in the control group.”   


Another study done by Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that wearing a mask blocks almost all the droplets coming out of a person’s mouth. This study proves that masks can effectively counter a major method of transmission. 


We want to know what Ipswich High School parents think about this issue. We interviewed Jennifer Hevelone-Harper and Mario Dessources to see what their opinions are. When asked if masks were effective, Jennifer Hevelone Harper replied that, “They seem to be the number one tool in fighting the spread of this disease. They are a tool that lets us be able to go places instead of staying home all the time. Wearing masks in school is better than being on zoom all the time.”


Mario Dessources replied that, “If you are sick you should wear a mask. Other than that, I don’t believe that all the masks are effective.”


Many people are wondering what the government will continue to do to address the pandemic. When asked about what they should do to address this pandemic Mario Dessources replied that “The government should be more open and honest with the community. Especially since Donald Trump downplays the severity of the situation. I don’t like how Trump is focusing on his presidency when we are in a global pandemic.” 


Jennifer Hevelone-Harper believes masks are effective in preventing the spread of the virus. She also agrees that they are an inconvenience at times. “It is not fun to have to keep a mask on; however in the cold weather, it is better. The hardest part is not being able to see people’s facial expressions. It is hard to read and interpret people’s expressions. It is difficult to get to know new students because of the masks and it is hard to recognize people.” 


Masks have become a part of our daily lives, and people wonder how much longer we will be wearing them. Jennifer Hevelone-Harper believes that we “will be wearing masks until a vaccine is created and becomes widely distributed.” Mario Dessources answered saying, “I don’t want to think we have to wear them for the rest of our lives, but I can see us wearing them for a few more years.”