Masks; More Than Just A Pandemic Safety Measure

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Since we started wearing masks to protect ourselves and others during this pandemic; I’ve had ample time to think of other positives associated with their usage. In other countries like Japan or China, masks are commonplace but in the US, I can’t recall their widespread usage other than in this pandemic. This month I would like to talk about the boons of masks. And how with time mask-wearing became a measure that I would consider even outside of the covid event. 

I always thought getting sick several times throughout the year was a normal occurrence. In the spring and winter, I would always get the common cold and bear that misery because I assumed there was no way to avoid getting ill. Since the debut of masks, and always wearing them myself, I have not gotten sick once since the covid-19 outbreak started. In Japan, it’s considered a common curtsy to wear a mask when sick but in America, we’ve always seen others coughing and sneezing all over the place. Even after this pandemic is over and done with, I know that I’ll always be wearing a mask if I’m feeling under the weather and I can only hope others would do the same. 

Social Anxiety is another aspect that I deal with on the day to day. Sometimes I feel like all eyes are on me and any movement or mistake I make will be facing judgment. As a kid I always loved playing a ninja, sneaking around, and hiding. Now that we’re wearing a mask, I feel like I’m somewhat concealed in real life, the pressures of interacting with others and completing tasks in the public eye aren’t as stressful. I think this is due to the lack of facial expression revealed during the day to day. Sure I miss seeing people smile or assuaging their current mood based on physical characteristics but something about the mask makes me feel like I’m safely secured and covered by a blanket. 

Even with the benefits of wearing a mask, not getting ill or it lessoning my experiences with social anxiety I don’t think I would want to wear them permanently like we are now. Sometimes masks can be stifling. And if you wear glasses you know what happens if it’s too cold out; our glass fog up and we can’t see. But if I was feeling sick or overwhelmed, wearing a mask for some time would help, and that’s an option that I never would have considered in the past. 

What about you readers? Is there anything that you like about wearing a mask? Dislikes? I love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Until next time. Please take care!


Ziggy is a Certified Peer Specialist in PA and currently resides in Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Let’s Act committee, a group of peers devoted to raising awareness about mental health care. In his downtime, he enjoys reading novels and watching nature documentaries.

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