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Give a Damn and Wear a Mask …. Please? (for yourself and more importantly for others!)

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented event for all of us. No one could have anticipated that a global pandemic in 2020 would have changed our lives so drastically. Mardi Gras was in full swing for not even a full month before cities had to shut down due to coronavirus restrictions. The streets of New Orleans were packed with thousands enjoying the carnival season and yet no one knew they may have been helping spread a deadly virus. 

Since March 2020, the novel coronavirus has grabbed all the headlines, providing sometimes conflicting information. False and incorrect information has been shared on social media over and over again. The confusion and uncertainty have certainly shaken us and have even sent people in a panic to rush to stores to buy toilet paper. But even though some information was not accurate, two things have been advised from day one regarding how to stop the spread of COVID-19:  wear a mask and practice social distancing. It really is as simple as that. Citizens have been strongly encouraged to follow these two easy to follow guidelines by the United States’ top leading disease experts. These precautions work and are almost 100 percent effective at preventing the virus’s spread if the mask is worn correctly and adequate distance is maintained. 

Since March 2020, the novel coronavirus has grabbed all the headlines, providing sometimes conflicting information. False and incorrect information has been shared on social media over and over again. The confusion and uncertainty have certainly shaken us and have even sent people in a panic to rush to stores to buy toilet paper. But even though some information was not accurate, two things have been advised from day one regarding how to stop the spread of COVID-19:  wear a mask and practice social distancing. It really is as simple as that. Citizens have been strongly encouraged to follow these two easy to follow guidelines by the United States’ top leading disease experts. These precautions work and are almost 100 percent effective at preventing the virus’s spread if the mask is worn correctly and adequate distance is maintained. 

Despite these measures being so easy to follow, many are opposed to adhering to them. They are opposed to wearing a mask because they take this preventative measure personally. To them, it feels like an attack on their personal freedom. They feel as if it should be their choice whether or not to wear a mask. But this is not about them. It’s not about you or me. It’s about all of us. We need to all give a damn about protecting one another from catching this virus. We need to all do our part, just like Americans have done before during challenging times.

World War II provides us with valuable lessons on how to come together as one country. During the war, tensions between the U.S. and Japan were high.  Japan cut off all trade relations with our country. In 1941, the United States’ access to silk was completely cut off. While it may seem like having no silk was not a big deal, it was. Silk was used to make parachutes and powder bags for naval guns and therefore suddenly it became a precious resource. When the U.S. Office of Production Management seized all of the nation’s raw silk supply, American women rushed out to buy as many silk stockings as they could but were limited to buying two pairs of stockings each. Before 1941, many women did not go out in public without wearing stockings. And suddenly, they were faced with not having any to wear. 

However, American women showed they knew how to make sacrifices for the betterment of everyone and began to donate all of their silk stockings. Even their used stockings were valuable, and women began collecting them for the War Production Board. They either went bare-legged or used “liquid stockings” from cosmetic companies. No effort was too small during the war, and the women of our country showed everyone that they were true patriots. 

We need to do the same thing today that these women did for our country back then! Wearing a mask shows that you give a damn – about others around you, whether they are family, friends, co-workers, or strangers. Wearing a mask actually protects those around you more than it protects yourself. Wouldn’t you want others to care enough to protect your health and the health of your loved ones? The answer surely has to be yes. People think the end is in sight because the first Coronavirus vaccine has been approved and is already being distributed in the United States to front-line healthcare workers. But it will still take time to vaccinate the entire country. Until everyone can get vaccinated, we must do our part (again not for yourself but for others) to help get the number of cases down. 

We all need to do the right thing to help protect ourselves but more importantly to protect others. That is what the Give A Damn philosophy is all about.  So, please Give A Damn and wear your mask! It’s that simple. 

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