Beyond the Virus
Masks have been around for a long time now but restricted to the operating room in a hospital. With the onset of the pandemic, masks were not only made relevant worldwide because they can help prevent catching the virus- they are an inseparable piece of attire no matter where you go. Although masks can help prevent the virus, they can also leave harmful side effects.
Masks are known to cause side effects, especially when they are used for long periods. According to the Clinmed International Library, masks like the N95 and surgical masks can cause many effects like headaches, difficulty breathing, acne, skin breakdown, rashes, and even impaired cognition (Clinmed International Library). That's not all, it can also affect your vision and communication. This is a big problem since schools (including mine) require people to wear masks for the whole day, which can affect students and their learning.
Masks can also change people so much to the extent that their physical appearance changes. According to the National Library of Medicine, masks can change children’s ears, it is stated that the elastic loops create constant pressure that can affect the growth and angulation of the outer ear (National Library of Medicine). Although authorities are trying to find a solution for this, they have failed to do so while also preventing the risk of getting the virus.
So yes, masks can cause many negative effects, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Masks are a must to fight this virus and if people want it to end, then they need to wear them. According to the CDC, masks are a barrier that prevents respiratory droplets from reaching each other. Studies also show that if you wear a mask, the spray of droplets is significantly less. This would help you and the people around prevent catching the virus. If you don’t like the N95 masks, try buying a more comfortable one; cotton or fabric masks may be more comfortable and could protect you the same, as long as they have three layers.
Example of a KN95 mask. By: Terry Cralle