The Gustavian Weekly

Social Regulation of Wearing a Mask - The Gustavian Weekly

By Mustafa Abuhamdeh - Opinion Columnist | September 18, 2020 | Opinion

We’ve all had that boring, two hour long lecture class where you sit and stare at the clock, only half-comprehending the words coming out of the professor’s mouth. Don’t get me wrong, lectures have a role in getting information out in the open, but they certainly leave something to be desired when it comes to student engagement in the classroom.
As ordinary life collapsed under the weight of an invisible, yet dangerous menace, we were forced to abandon innumerable beloved habits in favor of sustaining our wellbeing and that of our dear families and friends. The world is indubitably colder with COVID-19, our laughs are quieter, ambitions slightly lower and our overall mode is a bit dimmer. The crisis has transformed the simplest of tasks into arduous commitments, forced us out of our jobs and schools and in some regions of the world, has caused an economic collapse with unforgiving magnitudes.

Yet, with the farewells of our past lives, we welcomed new habits that would spare the world, like saying goodbye to another grandparent or friend at the hands of coronavirus. At the throne of such recent regulations is the debatable act of wearing a nonmedical mask.
Relying on scientific evidence, the mask has proven effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in public places and decreasing person-to-person transmission. Yet, despite their irrefutable benefits, some individuals rushed to negate the endeavor and proceeded to walk in groups, often in close proximity, trying to prove something to the world that alas only reflects their lack of compassion for the wellbeing of others.
Masks are admittedly restricting and as humans, we rely greatly on facial expressions to identify the emotional status of others. Face-to-face communication is also vital for the sustainability of our myriad relationships. However, notwithstanding its social consequences, masks have proven to be an effective tool in the current war against COVID-19. So, one must only ponder what is worth more, the precision in our detection of someone’s emotion, or saving the sacred life of someone we share a house with?
Ultimately, our hopes are stirred that COVID-19 is but a temporary nightmare that will wash away as we regain our former lives. But, in order for that to be realized, it will demand the collective efforts and sacrifices of us all.

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