As much as i have tried so much to evade writing anything about Covid-19, the recent order of events have left me no choice. For some time now, i have harboured some very stereotypical views as pertains to the above mentioned subject. However, I have always practised restraint and had the audacity of keeping them shut to myself but until now. I need to make it crystal at this onset that the following words are nothing but my penned thoughts. No pun was intended whatsoever. This pandora box of thoughts was burst open, contents therein spilled and this is what spew forth. All this hell, courtesy of a masked brute who broke the law in broad daylight and lives to tell the tale just because he hid his face behind the piece of clothing. The witnesses at the scene of the crime allege that they only saw a masked image take to his heels in the aftermath. This experience left me with a bile-like taste in my mouth and I couldn’t help but swallow involuntarily. I had to question everything, the need for the masks, even the mere existence of this pandemic.

Masks have been employed by humans for generations to serve different purposes though their current extent of misuse in the soiled hands of criminals, begs for their fall into disuse. A masked ‘customer’ will nowadays stroll casually into a business premise in the middle of a busy street and transition into a robber within a blink. Even that wise investment in CCTV cameras would in this case be an exercise in futility. And why is this? It is the law of the land that all persons wear a mask whilst in public. As a precautionary measure against contracting or spreading the corona virus. Well, sounded so easy and responsible at first, didnt it? That was until some shameless, opportunistic thugs customized this to suit their current endeavors. Totally deviating from the main agenda of saving lives in the prevention of new cases. The question begging to be asked here by all and sundry is that do the masks even protect from catching the virus?

I dare say the evidence for the efficacy of surgical masks or homemade masks is limited, and masks aren’t the most important protection against the corona virus. Study has found that masks don’t necessarily stop healthy people from catching the virus but does stop people spreading it further. It has also showed that covering one’s mouth and nose can reduce forward distance by an exhaled breath by more than 90%. As this breath could contain small droplets of water some of which contain the virus. Isn’t it in order to deduce that masks aren’t effective in stopping contracting the virus rather spreading it. Unless for the healthcare personnel, we can pass that masks are for the protection of others, not for the protection of oneself. Moreso in the cases of asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Still the mask must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly,disposed of safely and used in combination with good universal hygiene inorder to be an effective module.

These veiled thieves ridicule the very efforts put in all over the world to rid this world of this disease. They end up smearing with dirt the very good intentions of the World Health Organisation of prescribing to all states to encourage the use of masks. But then again, what about the children and those with disabilities and respiratory problems? I reckon they were never taken into consideration when the masks were being pushed down our throats. Methinks, Covid-19 is a mild illness especially in Africa. Most people will come into contact with the virus and your individual response will depend on your immunity. After all hundreds of viruses inhibit our respiratory tract causing problems here and there but the body defends itself. The homemade masks that masses are spotting are least effective and the recommendation that they too are applicable was ill-advised, only because “any kind of impediment is better than nothing.” These fabric masks wouldn’t be able to stop the spread of the infection, but would have a small effect on transmission. All this factored in, we shouldn’t be relying on masks to help us go back to normal. Of course if that is if you are not that thug.

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