What’s working to combat the social isolation that accompanies social distancing?


Jesus Diaz and Marlene Sanchez

Face masks appear to be worn by people everywhere, but whether they’re effective or not is another question.

During this coronavirus pandemic, people are wearing face masks to slow the spread of the virus. According to the center for control disease and prevention center (CDC), the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity- for example, coughing, speaking, or sneezing. Therefore, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in a public setting where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Although the CDC says that N-95 masks are the way to go, they recommend you do not use them and leave them for medical workers as they are in critical supply. The CDC has said to use other types of masks including homemade ones although they are not as effective. To add on, cloth face mask may be laundered using hot water but disposable mask are made to use once. In a random survey of 13 people, 12 people said that face masks are working in slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Yes (facemasks are effective in slowing the spread of the virus) because it helps not touch your face so the virus won’t go in through your mouth and your nose,” sophomore Suleny Melgoza said.

Others appear to agree with this.

“Yes, I think it is effective because by wearing them, we are not spreading so many germs. So for example when someone sneezes or coughs and they don’t use the correct technique, those droplets get all over the air or surface which makes it easier for someone to get infected if the person who coughs or sneezes has the virus. While if you are wearing a mask, those droplets stay inside your mask and are less exposed to other people,”

Erie healthcare clinic nurse Linda Delgado said.

Many are also in favor of this.

“The virus can spread even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. If face masks are in use, I think it will be effective in slowing down the spread of the virus in settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” senior Andrea Lara said.

More people elaborated on their opinion.

“I believe they (facemasks) are (slowing down the spread of the virus) because the virus doesn’t go straight into the person’s respiratory system. The person isn’t inhaling it directly from the air,” senior Adriana Sanchez.

However, not everyone agreed.  The person who disagreed didn’t state why he believed that face masks weren’t effective in slowing the spread of the virus. All he said was “face masks are not effective”.