Coronavirus: Are Face Coverings Really Mandatory?

Coronavirus: Are Face Coverings Really Mandatory?

Numbers of patients infected with Covid-19 have skyrocketed in the last few months. This critical condition happens everywhere in the world, governments are thinking of how they could protect people of their country. Wearing face coverings, one of the most ambiguous rules, is being debated by many people. Whether it is mandatory or not, I personally think that it is very essential to wear face coverings.

Are face coverings mandatory? Retrieved from

As Achenbatch et al. (2020) mentioned in their article, the coronavirus is spread by respiratory droplets. This virus is categorized as infectious since it spreads quickly and easily. Droplets are spread in a large amount when people sneeze or cough. Hence considering the cause of the spread, wearing masks are very important.

Some believe that wearing a mask is not mandatory since there is still no consensus proving that mask could cause significant difference; its benefit is uncertain (Achenbatch et al., 2020). Hence, wearing face coverings is not mandatory for healthy people. However, it is not known whether that person is really healthy or not since many infected patients show no symptoms. They could potentially be a source to spread the virus.

I believe that providing protection to ourselves including wearing face coverings increase our comfort level. Those who wear masks are psychologically less worried in crowded areas. Wearing a mask also solves the ambiguity of who should and should not be wearing a mask (Craggs, 2020).

Achenbatch et al. (2020) argued that wearing face coverings could lure people to a false sense of security and causing them to be less disciplined about social distancing. I think it returns back to one’s own common sense; social distancing and washing hands frequently are the most effective way of preventing the spread regardless of whether or not one wears a mask. We should not be unguarded and keep doing social distancing.

It cannot be denied that unproper use of face coverings could increase risk of Covid-19 spreading. Masks that are not properly cleaned or disposed of could potentially transmit the virus. Considering those factors, it is important to use masks with utmost care as carelessness in disposing or handling the mask could result in an increase in cases of infection. We should always make sure our hands are clean before they reach any face coverings.

As for the use of surgical masks, I believe it is not mandatory for every person especially the ones living in regions with a limited supply of such masks. Health-care workers require surgical face coverings since they are potentially exposed to the virus for a longer time.

Trump stated that it is not mandatory to wear such face coverings. He has proven his statement by only wearing a mask in tight situations. His daughter and senior adviser also practice the same way (BBC, 2020). However, it is important to also consider the effectiveness of our mask compared to the chance of being exposed to the virus. Labours and construction workers who work outside require utmost protection, hence the use of a surgical mask is necessary. Countries such as Hong Kong advise people to wear a surgical mask when being in a crowded place (Achenbatch et al., 2020).

Some governments are advising people to use cloth face coverings since they also potentially lower the risk of being infected. Cloth face coverings are useful to limit the spreading of the droplets by the person who wears them. Even so, they do not provide total protection from the virus.

I believe that wearing a mask is very necessary especially when we are outside as there is a higher risk of virus transmission. The face covering does not have to be a surgical mask, cloth face coverings could also protect us. It is notable that although wearing a mask, social distancing should always be practised at all times. Washing hands and social distancing are the utmost ways to prevent the spreading of Covid-19.



Craggs, S. (2020) Hamilton considering making indoor mask wearing mandatory. Retrieved from

BBC (2020) Coronavirus: ‘I’m all for masks,’ says Trump in change of tone. Retrieved from

Achenbach, J., Sun, H. L., & McGinley, L. (2020) CDC considering recommending general public wear face coverings in public. Retrieved from

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