Masks do not work if it’s not around your nose

Tyrone+Hess+and+Micco+Hearn+put+their+masks+back+on+after+finishing+their+lunch.+It+is+very+difficult+to+eat+lunch+with+a+mask+on%2C+so+students+have+an+opportunity+to+take+them+off+during+Lunch+period.+%0A

Credit: Ender Ross

Tyrone Hess and Micco Hearn put their masks back on after finishing their lunch. It is very difficult to eat lunch with a mask on, so students have an opportunity to take them off during Lunch period.

Ender Ross, Staff Writer

 As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, one of the hot button issues was and still is mask wearing. And here at Loy Norrix, this is quite evident in the complaints about the mask mandate and rigid enforcement by Principal Christopher Aguinaga. 

Masks are generally worn in order to prevent the easy escape of particles from your mouth and nose to others around you, but there have been many people who decide to wear a mask, but just down below their nose for easier breathing. But does a mask work if it’s not around your nose? No.

That’s it. If the mask isn’t fully covering your lower face, it does nothing. You can remember the phrase, “Under your chin, above your nose” if that helps. If the mask is not above your nose, you might as well just not wear it. It does absolutely nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

When people hear that there is a chance of death, they tend to stay away from certain actions. When they are in the car, they buckle their seatbelt. If they have their grandparents in the car while they drive, they tend to take it easy on the gas pedal. They suffer these mild annoyances for their own safety and the safety of their family members. 

But when it comes to wearing a mask, a mild annoyance that keeps them and their family members safe and breathing, it is suddenly too much of a hassle.

It’s been well established by the National Institute of Health that COVID-19 affects the elderly more so than kids, but Science News for Students confirms that you are far from invincible

Admittedly, the statistic of 423 out of 4.5 million kids under 12 children dying of COVID doesn’t seem that bad. That only comes out to a 0.0000094% chance of death. 

Some people are willing to take that chance, and, of course, they are willing to make their own grandparents and your grandparents take that chance as well, despite the fact that they have a significantly higher chance of death, and you know what, that’s fine. Some people are always going to choose comfort over safety. A chance to die over mild discomfort. 

According to a study done on the initial outbreak in Wuhan, there is a 28.6% death rate among people over 70. It’s only a little more than one in four. For anybody with some unconventional dice at home, consider rolling a 4 sided die for everybody you know who is older than 70. Rolling a number one equals death. Now consider what you would do so that they don’t have to roll that die. 

Mayo Clinic has conducted numerous studies to show that masks work. Anybody who has been to the dentist knows that they wear masks there when they pull your gums apart. And the U.S National Library of Health states that doctors have been wearing masks since the Black Death. That’s the 1300’s. That’s when it was still thought that disease could be cured with leeches. The world was still a couple hundred years from medicine actually making things better and not worse, and yet doctors were still smart enough to wear masks. 

And who cares about my cousin with asthma, or my grandfather with diabetes: both of whom are at risk of death if they get COVID-19. Who cares about the teachers who are putting their lives on the line to educate us? I hate to say it, but there are definitely some teachers here who would be at risk of hospitalization. 

“I am, for a couple of reasons [worried about COVID],” English teacher Anne Lewis said. “The people in my life, who depend on me, are medically compromised. My dad has cancer, and is undergoing chemotherapy, so he is at risk, and my husband is undergoing cardiac issues, which keeps him in and out of the hospital.” 

As if all this was not hard enough, the 59 year old Lewis also has asthma, a respiratory condition that makes it harder to breathe, and yet she still wears a mask most of the day. 

There are some people here who are literally risking their lives, and the lives of those around them to teach us. But who cares about them? We show through our actions that it isn’t us. 

The Michigan Government Monthly Report for October states that mask wearing in schools is very effective at reducing the number of cases and the amount of hospitalizations due to contracting COVID-19, but it is evidently too difficult for some students to wear a mask so as to keep cases low and our teachers safe. 

One way to get mask wearing to appeal to people is to tell them that they will get horribly sick and get absolutely bricked for a couple days. Of course, there is the tiny risk of death, the fact that they could kill one of their loved ones, or one of somebody else’s loved ones. However, it is easier to appeal to somebody’s selfishness than the opposite. 

Even being fully vaccinated is no guarantee of safety, as junior Tyrone Hess retells his story of how it took around two weeks for him to shake off the symptoms. 

“Fever, muscle aches, nausea, even right now I’m feeling the after effects of it, with my leg cramps. Actually, it felt awful and stuff, but I just layed and watched movies. I didn’t have energy,” said Hell.

Fortunately, Hess has made a full recovery without ever needing to go to the hospital. 

Tyrone added, “I might be in the hospital if I didn’t have it [the vaccine].” 

And if anybody is up in the air about the vaccine, whining about microchipping and fertility, the CDC has given the go ahead. It has also been FDA approved since August. The FDA has most certainly done more research on the safety of the vaccine than any student could. They have access to world class scientists and doctors, as well as significantly more money than I will ever see in my lifetime. 

KPS school nurse Laura Ross said, “I recommend the vaccine for anybody who is able. There are no microchips in the vaccine. The vaccine is safe. This vaccine has been distributed to millions of people in a very short time. If it was hurting people, we would know.”

 The vaccine really does help prevent from getting COVID-19, and according to the Center for Disease Control, it reduces symptoms when you do. 

Of course, since not everybody has gotten the vaccine, or isn’t able to, it’s important to wear masks for the time being. 

If you see somebody in the hallway, or in class, or just anywhere inside the school, with the mask down around their nose, just give them a polite reminder. 

“Hey man, over your nose”

“Mask slipped, keep an eye on that.”

“Watch out man, your mask slipped.”

You don’t need to yell at every person who has a bite to eat in the cafeteria or every soul who dares to let it fall off when having a drink of water from a fountain. However, if we all gently remind anybody with a mask down around their nose with a polite tone, Principal Aguinaga wouldn’t have to spend his time recording a robocall at the end of every day.