• Maryam Fatima

Wearing a Face Mask Should Have Nothing to do With Politics

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

Following Tuesday night’s Presidential Debate, it was revealed that President Trump, along with several White House staff, had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Undoubtedly, it has been the biggest news this week. This is the virus that has infected over 35 million people worldwide and has taken the lives of over a million, and the numbers continue to rise. Yet the Trump administration has continually downplayed its seriousness, ignoring the advice of health experts by continuing to hold large rallies and traveling without wearing a mask or adhering to proper social distancing.

This news should serve as a reminder to all of us, particularly people like Trump who have been acting more care-free throughout this pandemic, to take this virus more seriously. It can affect anyone and can kill anyone, including those who are healthy and have no underlying medical conditions. It is nothing like the flu or the “sniffles,” like many people would claim. It is much more lethal and unpredictable, which is why we should be doing everything that we can to help slow the spread of this disease until a vaccine for it is released.

Whether you are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, everyone should be adhering to the advice of health experts by wearing a mask and following proper social distancing guidelines. When it comes to the matter of public health, everyone should be doing their part in keeping themselves and others safe, regardless of their gender, race, religion, political affiliation, or socioeconomic status.

Unfortunately, as research shows us, there is significant divide in this country on whether or not to wear a mask in public and adhere to proper social distancing. In terms of gender, men are less likely to wear a mask than women and are also, unsurprisingly, dying at higher rates (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).

On the other-hand, Republicans have repeatedly expressed less concern about the pandemic and are more likely than Democrats to say that “the worst is behind us.” (Pew Research Center, 2020). In fact, over 70% of new coronavirus cases are being reported in Republican-led states.

Adamant refusal to don face coverings has also been seen among Trump supporters at campaign rallies and is only exacerbated by the President’s refusal to wear one himself. The latter even mocked former Vice President, Joe Biden, for choosing to wear one at the debate.

Trump has also held a few indoor campaign rallies in the past few months, where very few people can be seen wearing a mask or adhering to social distancing guidelines. Instead, masses of people were crowded together without any form of face covering or even the slightest bit of concern for the health and wellbeing of those around them, and it is very disappointing to see.

Now with Trump’s recent coronavirus diagnosis, I can only hope that more Americans will begin to take this virus more seriously. I am tired of the constant bickering between liberals and conservatives, men and women, and employees and customers about wearing a mask and following social distancing guidelines. It should not even be a debate. Studies have shown that that wearing a mask can significantly reduce your chances of catching COVID-19 by as much as 65%, so I cannot fathom why so many people still refuse to listen.

Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis should be a reminder to everyone that no one, absolutely no one, is immune from this virus. The pointless bickering among Americans really needs to stop. If we want our economy to get back to normal, then we should all be doing out part in keeping ourselves and others safe. It's that simple.

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