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Wearing a mask could help save lives, so people need to get over their embarrassment.

With COVID-19 still infecting people around the world, the concern of wearing face masks has increased since the CDC announced that individuals should be wearing them when going out in public. Although many seem to be following these precautions, others have chosen not to, which is highly disheartening since the pandemic is still ravaging areas around the world, leaving thousands dead and others suffering. 

This may lead people to question why some are ignoring the requirement of wearing a face mask in public. One reason may be that people don’t have access to masks in the first place, while another may be that people are confused about how to create their own mask.

However, some people are simply not wearing a mask because they’re embarrassed about how they'll look in front of others, which is the last thing  one should worry about during a pandemic. Wearing a mask can’t only save one’s life but also the lives of those one may encounter, including people who are high-risk. 

With many face masks being reserved for health care workers and people working on the frontlines during the pandemic, some people may feel hopeless in being able to find masks for themselves and their family. However, it’s fairly simple for one to make their own mask with little to no hassle. The CDC recommends that people create their own face masks out of cloth they may have around the house. According to the CDC, cloth face masks should do all of the following: fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape. They also offer a tutorial on how to create your own mask as well as how to properly take it off and clean it for further use. 

If one’s too embarrassed to be seen in public while wearing a mask, then they shouldn’t be going out in public in the first place. Feeling awkward around other people while wearing a mask shouldn’t be the main concern that one has during a time like this. What they may not realize is that wearing a mask lessens the chance that someone more susceptible to the disease will get it.

According to an article by the New York Times, people above the age of two should wear a mask when going out in public. This means that there are no excuses for anyone not to wear a mask when around other people. Although wearing a mask may cause people to become more frightened of the pandemic, it’ll help society slowly go back to the way it used to be. Restaurants can open, people can go to concerts and schools will hold in-person classes if we can take precautions in slowing this disease down. 

People can still be wary about wearing a mask because they don’t want to seem like they’re carrying the disease, but one should remember that most people  wearing masks are likely to not have the virus and are just being considerate toward others, as everyone should be. However, if one’s still unsure about wearing a mask, think about all the people who have died, lost someone to COVID-19 or have been exposed to the disease and put yourself in their shoes. Wearing a mask isn’t an accessory, it’s a necessity. 

Kylee Toland is a sophomore media arts and design student. Contact Kylee at tolandkm@dukes.jmu.edu