What mask should you wear?

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creativecommons.org

An image of the blue disposable masks that everyone is familiar with now.

The fog on your glasses. The pain on your ears. The burden of your masks. 

It has now been over a year since we have donned our masks in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although wearing masks can feel burdensome at times, it feels inappropriate not to wear one when out in public. There are ways to make masks more fun to wear while still using them responsibly.

Several different types of masks have appeared in the past year, ranging from the KN95 mask, a white mask with multiple layers, to masks that make more of a fashion statement. One of the most common are the disposable surgical masks, which come in a light blue shade familiar to almost everyone by now. Some people wear multiple masks; others don’t wear any.

I wear a mask because I care about the wellbeing of other people,” said first-year Guilford student Jordan Fridley. 

Most masks should be washed from time to time unless they are disposable. Wearing a dirty mask can make you sick, defeating the whole purpose of masks. Some people may not know how often to wash a mask. Philosophy Professor Lisa McLeod washes her mask if it was worn for a long period of time, and Early College at Guilford junior Grace Kauder believes that a mask should be washed after every use. 

You may wonder if the mask you wear is protective enough against the virus. As long as the mask has a few layers of fabric, you are doing your part in protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. Some masks may be better than others, but any mask is better than none.

I have the ambition to be fashionable with my masks,” said McLeod.

With so many masks, it can be difficult to know how much to spend. Some masks have gotten quite expensive, costing up to $30 or $40, but the mask you buy is completely up to you. If the mask is effective at blocking the virus, then the choice is yours. What if you have multiple masks that you like to wear?

I use disposable ones at work since they don’t fog up my glasses, but if I’m just going to the grocery store or park I wear my reusable one,” says Kauder.

I usually wear the KN95 mask in most situations to avoid fogging up my glasses. The KN95 mask has also gained popularity because it is very protective.

Masks should be washed, and they should be protective. With the pandemic, it is important to wear a mask as frequently as possible when in public, but it is definitely okay to wear a mask that makes a fashion statement as well. The creative and fun masks seen in the last year have been a silver lining to the dark cloud that is the pandemic.