Limlingan: A simple face mask will do

The Advocate

HEALTH authorities all over the world, our national and local officials are one in their call to the public to wear face masks while we are in this global health crisis. This is precisely to avoid the transmission and infection of the unseen enemy that has taken away quite a number of lives and is paralyzing the world economy.

When the pandemic started in China on the last day of 2019, we are not then much aware and do not have even an iota of idea that it will spread in most countries in the world as it has now. We are normally living our lives, doing our routines without worrying anything that may cause sickness or death. Lifeway back then is what and how it used to be is far different from now.

Face masks, alcohol and soap were not in-demand until Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus in China has reported a number of infections and deaths. This has sounded the alarm and even the panic button that the supply of the aforesaid essentials ran out of stocks in supermarkets and grocery stores.

Since then, we started wearing face masks of all kinds, from the traditional medical masks to the fashionable fabric, those with breathing valves or none, washable or disposable and many others. We have now an ample supply of face masks that became essential commodities. Without one wearing it, a person may be subjected to a fine or an arrest.

Face masks keep us from getting infected with the virus and supposed we are asymptomatic carriers (without symptoms of the disease), it keeps us from infecting others. Those symptomatic of course need to wear face masks too as they proceed to either hospitals for treatment or in medical quarantine facilities.

I wonder, why in the world that we need to be always reminded to wear masks and why the government does still needs to apprehend those who are not wearing masks. Because of mass production, masks have become cheaper now for as low as P2 per piece for the disposable ones and P20 for the washable ones. The price of masks for sure won’t make a burden on the pockets of our marginalized.

Wearing masks is not also a cumbersome activity as we simply need to slip the rubberized fabric ties around our ear lobes and that it. In short, it’s not difficult to wear protective masks and it’s not difficult too to comply with the law. Further, it is an obligation now that we all need to do as we are still on our fight against the deadly disease.

Still on face masks, it’s quite saddening that many irresponsible face masks users indiscriminately throw their disposable masks anywhere that many end up in canals, creeks, rivers and even the seas. These thrown masks add up to the waste materials that pollute our environment. Made up mostly of fabric, cotton synthetic and plastic, they are not much biodegradable that need a considerable amount of time to dissolve.

While we are advocating the use of face masks, we need to be advocating too for clean surroundings, free from used face masks. We need to be responsible to wear one and responsible also in throwing used ones in proper trash bins.


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