(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Oaks Christian High School

Opinion: Why masks should be enforced

Since the beginning of COVID-19, society has focused on one pertinent, controversial topic: mask wearing.

Despite the usage, the spread of the virus has still not fully subsided. Social distancing is not enough, and masks need to be a critical part of the path towards ending COVID-19. Thus, it is important that authorities, including state and local governments, mandate wearing masks outside for every American.

Mask-wearing is the most effective way of preventing new cases of the virus. On July 18, a news report from the Los Angeles Times discusses the spike in California cases and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order of public mask-wearing.

Yet, there is still a lack of compliance, and law enforcement is only capable of educating non-mask-wearing individuals. This soft mandate serves as an example that America needs stricter enforcement from authorities, which would help suppress the surge of COVID-19.

Lynne Peeples on October 6 highlights that raising mask use to 95% would save nearly 100,000 lives until January 2021. Peeples quotes from Theo Vos, a health-policy researcher, who believes masks are a low investment with a “large impact,” so “who wouldn’t want to use it?”

Vos showcases the long-lasting and transformative effects of masks, reflecting how this decision is pure logic.

Some Americans conclude that new laws restrict personal liberties and individual freedom. On October 15, a news report from Fox News said Florida has parents fighting the state-imposed mask mandates, accumulating $11,300 for an attorney to argue their case towards school districts.

Despite this reasoning, it is important to consider the true purpose of masks. The initial order of masks was not aimed at suppressing or stripping society from their natural rights; it was to protect them. Therefore, masks hold a significant purpose that people should comply with for their own well-being. 

The mask controversy also intercedes social media platforms, where teens are exposed to posts on Instagram stories and Twitter threads. The reasoning is that wearing a mask is an act of kindness, appreciation and care for others. It is seen as a safety precaution to protect those around you.

Next time you consider your mask, remember how much of a favor you are doing to the next generation and environment to make society a safer and healthier place.