Writer: Sonika Tatipalli
Current Solutions and Their Insufficiencies
COVID-19 is a widespread disease that has caused a current global pandemic. Due to various factors, this virus spreads rapidly and harms people greatly. One of these factors is the virus’s airborne properties. Coronavirus particles can stay suspended in the air for a very long time, and those who breathe in these particles would easily get infected (Greenberg). Additionally, COVID-19 has a varying incubation period of two days to two weeks. This means that symptoms can appear at any time from two days to two weeks after the person is infected (Harvard Health Publishing). Since the time period may be lengthy, the disease spreads from one person to the next. Furthermore, even when symptoms appear, they may be disregarded as other problems. This disease can have very deadly symptoms. In fact, through the end of October 2020, there were 47 million cases and 1.2 deaths due to COVID-19 (“Coronavirus Update (Live): 47,313,006 Cases and 1,211,003 Deaths from COVID-19 Virus Pandemic - Worldometer”).
Currently, various health organizations advocate the use of cloth masks to prevent the spread of the condition. This has been proven to greatly decrease the transmission rate; in fact, some research proves that wearing these masks can reduce the chance of getting infected by sixty-five percent (Fell). However, the use of masks may not be efficient enough in some conditions and risk factors. Although it is useful in daily situations, this prevention technique makes it difficult for the user to breathe in some specific ones.
Wearing cloth masks can be a very inefficient method for certain situations, including during exercise. When participating in arduous workouts, it is greatly beneficial if the airstream is free so an ample supply of oxygen for rapid intake (Hamilton). During high-intensity workouts, therefore, masks may decrease the ability and potential of an athlete. The higher the intensity of the workout and the higher the filtration capability of the mask, the more negative it is for the person (Hamilton).
This may also be difficult to use for specific kinds of people with certain restricting factors. One example of a group is those who have breathing disorders. Breathing disorders such as asthma and lung disease make it difficult for patients to get enough oxygen for proper function. Wearing a mask may amplify this issue by blocking the airstream even further, harming patients with severe conditions. Another group of people who may be harmed by the use of these cloth masks are infants. Because their airways are significantly smaller than fully grown humans, masks can prevent necessary airflow. Masking children under age two also has the risk of suffocation as they are not able to take off the mask in predicaments (“Mask Safety 101: Why You Shouldn’t Mask a Baby”). For the highest safety precautions, masks should not be allowed for these children.
Masks can also be difficult to maintain for all people of all ages and backgrounds. Because of the inconvenience, they are often used incorrectly and some people may find them uncomfortable. It sometimes may not cover the entire mouth and/or nose properly, making way for COVID-19 particles to enter the respiratory system. Especially for younger children, the masks may be loose, or due to the uncomfortable nature, these children may take off their masks, which would cause them to be further exposed to this disease.
Another possible solution for the prevention of COVID-19 is the use of face shields. A face shield is like a plastic barrier that is created between the person’s face and the outside world. These are common alternatives to cloth masks. However, they may not be adequate when trying to prevent COVID-19 because they are confining and uncomfortable. Due to a lack of proper data, many well-known organizations, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, do not recommend the use of the face shields (“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)”). They are commonly used by medical workers as extra protective equipment (“Face Shields for Infection Control: A Review”). For example, they are sometimes used over cloth masks as an extra precaution. Although effective and helpful in this manner, the face shields are generally not sufficient for protection when used by themselves.
As shown in these few paragraphs, masks are very useful for most people, but for certain minorities, they have proven to be more negative. The pervading nature of this fatal disease proves the need for a viable solution for all types of people in all situations.
This article is very informative. It helps build onto the previous sections in the essay and continues to build onto the importance of the new solutions. One evident strength that the author has in this selection is her use of descriptive words and various transitions that help the information flow thoroughly explains the topic and connects the ideas. By using words like “additionally” and “furthermore,” the author effectively helps the reader connect each of the distinctive points made. Throughout the essay, there are various insufficiencies explained with proper citations to show certified information. By using numerous pieces of evidence, the author convinces the reader more that a more efficient solution is needed and effectively shows that the text is verified. This would increase the points in the “significance” for scoring.
One thing to improve is to write in a more concise way, especially at the beginning. This somewhat over-expands on the significance of the solution (which should be part of the previous section). Although it is necessary to include a transition for flow, it should be very brief. Another weakness the essay displays is the conclusion. Although very compelling language is used, the content does not properly sum up what is previously said in this section. The conclusion is not a thorough summary of all the important points perceived in the text and rather covers a few detailed sentences. Other than these few areas where the author had space to improve, the selection is very well-written, thought out, and organized.
“Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Feb. 2020, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html#:%7E:text=CDC%20does%20not%20recommend%20use,infants%20are%20NOT%20recommended.
“Coronavirus Update (Live): 47,313,006 Cases and 1,211,003 Deaths from COVID-19 Virus Pandemic - Worldometer.” Worldometer, www.worldometers.info/coronavirus.
“Face Shields for Infection Control: A Review.” PubMed Central (PMC), 3 Nov. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015006.
Fell, Andy. “Media Advisory: UC Davis LIVE on Habitat Destruction and Viral Spillover.” UC Davis, 28 Oct. 2020, www.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus/news/your-mask-cuts-own-risk-65-percent.
Greenberg, Jon PolitiFact. “What We Know About the Airborne Spread of the Coronavirus.” Kaiser Health News, 8 Oct. 2020, https://khn.org/news/fact-check-airborne-transmission-coronavirus-science-behind-aerosol-spread/
Hamilton, Andrew. “Face Mask Use in Sport: The Pros and Cons for Athletes.” Peak Performance, 16 July 2020, www.peakendurancesport.com/endurance-injuries-and-health/endurance-health-and-lifestyle/face-mask-use-sport-pros-cons-athletes.
Harvard Health Publishing. “If You’ve Been Exposed to the Coronavirus.” Harvard Health, 16 Oct. 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/if-youve-been-exposed-to-the-coronavirus.
“Mask Safety 101: Why You Shouldn’t Mask a Baby.” Nationwide Childrens’, www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/04/mask-safety-101#:%7E:text=Using%20a%20mask%20on%20an,off%20themselves%20and%20could%20suffocate.