If you think wearing a mask is stupid, it is time to look in the mirror.

Emerson+Becker%2C+20%2C+holds+the+door+for+two+customers+as+they+put+on+their+masks+before+entering+Classic+Cinemas+York+Theatre+in+Elmhurst+after+reopening+on+June+26%2C+2020.%0A%0AUSA

Tribune News Service

Emerson Becker, 20, holds the door for two customers as they put on their masks before entering Classic Cinemas York Theatre in Elmhurst after reopening on June 26, 2020. USA

William Becker, Staff Writer

It is the middle of summer and not far from a major publicly celebrated holiday, the Fourth of July. The mandatory lockdown for the COVID-19 virus was lifted in a number of places after Memorial Day weekend, which means that people have started flocking to public places. Bars, malls, restaurants and even theme parks have all opened their doors and have begun to welcome millions of Americans. By early June, all but 11 states had lifted their lockdowns. 

With the coming holiday, continued protests and the reopening of most public places have continued to take place. With that, public gatherings have become more appealing (at least more than they were in early April). States such as North Carolina have made wearing a mask mandatory in public, and of course, there are people who are refusing to wear a mask, as well as a pretty significant portion of the population who thinks the virus is a hoax. 

It is safe to assume that the “virus is a hoax” population has the same sort of mindset of typical conspiracy theorists like flat-earthers or “anti-vaxxers.” This means that a significant amount of science is not going to change their minds because that science is funded by people they personally disagree with. While I cannot personally say I agree with them, they are entitled to their opinions.

In that same breath; however, not wearing a mask in public at this point because of “civil rights” is one of the most selfish things a person can do.  Similarly, some young people believe that they are immune to the virus or that it will not hurt them, without considering the fact that people without symptoms can still spread the virus to people who have weaker immune systems without even knowing.

If the experts are right, by wearing a mask you are saving the lives of countless children, elderly people and those with compromised immune systems or diseases that make them more vulnerable to the virus. There is very little risk mixed with a high reward.

If the experts are wrong, you were inconvenienced by wearing a piece of fabric over your face that might be slightly uncomfortable.

If you still are not wearing a mask, you are risking the lives of innocent people because you are uncomfortable. No matter how it is spun, the issue of not wearing a mask because of civil rights is selfish. There is a severe lack of selflessness with this group of people.

Essential workers are often required to wear masks for eight-plus hour shifts, while many of the people who are complaining are only wearing masks for a maximum of 30 minutes in a grocery store. Essential workers are not dying left and right, so why is there a rumor that wearing masks can somehow be deadly?

It has already been reported that you cannot get carbon dioxide poisoning, you will not have reduced oxygen intake and if any of the rumored health impacts were actually even remotely happening, there would be reports of masks hurting millions of people worldwide. 

There are no mass reports of people not being able to breathe or dying because of these things. Before the virus, mask-wearing was incredibly common in East Asia, and there were never any reports of mass deaths.

The List published an article on how to make your face mask more comfortable. Suck it up, wear a mask, save lives.