Opinion: Why I do not wear a mask

Ella de Jong – Staff Writer

I think masks are nothing more than a statement. And apparently to some, they are a statement of whether we are loving our neighbor. Or, whether we are liberal or conservative. Or, to the extreme, whether we are a true Christian or not. This is ridiculous. 

The topic of masks are a point of argument in churches and schools across the country. This article may even sow discord among people. Some might call me a conservative who does not care for the lives of people around me. Others will tell me I am oppressing them. Some people will say that a face free of zits is not worth the cost of potential human death, or a person will silently hate me when they see me walk past unmasked. 

Perhaps we have not looked at the facts. Have we considered the CDC has changed their minds on masks throughout the pandemic? In the first few weeks of the lockdown, they suggested only medical personnel and those with COVID-19 wear masks. Now, they recommend the entire general public must wear them. Have we thought about the fact that the blue, disposable masks—the ones most commonly worn—do next to nothing for protection? Or have we considered that, even with a mask on, the guidelines say we are supposed stand the same distance apart as we would without a mask?  

The one that I find the most comical is how we seem to believe that COVID-19 does not spread when we are sitting unmasked at our tables in the Commons, but spreads everywhere else in the building. If we really believed in the mask, why not eat all our meals alone? 

When we choose to eat their meal with each other unmasked, we put forth another statement: that despite our belief in masks, we need to be in community with people. 

This statement stems from the simple fact that truly living—even with the possibility of dying—is far better than being confined by the pandemic’s limits on life. I know not being able to see people’s smiles or not being able to recognize someone because of masks has limited my human interaction. And these negative effects of masks ring true for others as well.

And who has the right to tell someone to wear a mask? I think the government should not. They can encourage it; but telling someone to wear a mask is infringing on their rights. 

I do not believe that masks do anything of worth. Though even if I believed otherwise, I would not let fear dictate my life. I will walk around maskless. I will go to school maskless. I will praise my God maskless—because Christians should unite during a pandemic. As Christians, we can love each other maskless. 

So, yes, I stand by Dordt lifting the mask mandate. Dordt University is right in not continuing to mask for some silly statement. We are not wearing masks, yet we are still true Christians.

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