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Not wearing a mask in public makes you a sociopath

Much like us, citizens of our respective countries, the government and medical authorities are learning new things about Coronavirus everyday. It is a novel disease and not knowing all the answers at once is alright, as long as we patiently follow guidelines that are timely set out by officials, based on their most recent learnings. The keyword here is to stay patient and socially responsible. Needless to say that a global pandemic is far from normal, causing a state of confusion which is unavoidable. Having said that, a (mental) state of rebellion is the invisible enemy.

How does COVID-19 spread?

A key route of transmitting Covid-19 is through droplets that fly out of our mouths when we sneeze, cough, speak or even breathe. Some of the tiny droplets quickly evaporate making its way into the air for anyone in proximity to inhale. A number of rebellions argue that they are not carrying the virus themselves so why would they need to mask-up to protect those around them. The virus is smarter than that. A recent study has confirmed that half the patients are infected by carriers who aren’t showing any symptoms yet, and maybe never will – making those infected by them overtly sick.

“a high proportion of asymptomatic infections could partially explain the high attack rate among cruise ship passengers and crew.”

CDC Report, March 2020

Why wear a mask?

The reason most countries have a compulsion to mask-up in public is two-fold, one is to protect the wearer and the other to protect others from contracting the virus. Of the two logical reasons, the former is difficult to achieve given the possible ill-fitting of the mask causing air passage. Another reason why a mask cannot protect the wearer is because the virus can enter through the eyes too. This means, the latter reason of protecting others from the disease is why we must wear masks. Pairing that with social distancing is going to have an exponential decline in the community spread.

Which masks are effective?

A common argument is the type of mask which actually works. A recent study conducted in Hong Kong suggests that surgical face masks have a high chance preventing transmission of human coronaviruses and types of influenza viruses. This backed with social distancing and maintaining utter hygiene is key to prevent contracting the deadly invisible enemy.

Physical distancing by demarking queuing up spots for shoppers has immensely helped in countries like India.

With the growing need for face masks, reusable masks made out of tshirt material have paved their way into the market. The NIH conducted an examination on a number of materials for their efficacy to replace surgical masks. The outcome suggested that cloth masks were far less effective than the manufactured surgical masks in preventing droplets from being expelled. However, they did indicate that they are better than no protection at all. No wonder a number of states in the US promote the use of a bandana as well to cover the nose and mouth when in public.

A social responsibility

Whether it is a disbelief in the science or the sheer want to control one’s own life, not following the simplest ways to flatten the curve makes us sociopaths. This very rebellious behaviour has not just posed a threat to the already scary situation, but has also taken the life of an innocent. Calvin Munerlyn was just doing his job when he asked those entering a dollar store in the state of Michigan, US to don a mask before entering, when he was shot dead. Regulations are not enforced to rip people off their rights, it is to protect them. Following basic guidelines like wearing a mask, maintaining a healthy physical distance and frequent hand washing or sanitizing is a social good.

“In general, people do not like to be told what to do,”

Elizabeth Dorrance Hall, a professor of communication at Michigan State University

Want to spot a sociopath in your neighbourhood? Find someone not following the Coronavirus prevention norms when you step out next to stock up on essentials.

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