Supplemental reasons to wear a mask

Owen Peterson, Opinion Writer

At this point, we should all be accustomed to having to wear a mask just about everywhere we go, and it doesn’t seem like this is a reality that will be changing anytime soon.

“Surgical Face Mask” by
NurseTogether is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Since it seems like we will be stuck wearing masks for quite some time, I think it is time to look at some of the unappreciated and overlooked benefits of having to wear a mask.

Here are five reasons why you should keep wearing your mask. Besides, you know, keeping yourself and others safe, preventing the spread of COVID and trying to put an end to this public health crisis, but I digress.

1. To keep your face warm during the winter

Once the spring semester starts, everyone is going to need all the covering they can manage to wear to be able to survive the frigid and dreadful winter walk to morning classes. Honestly, a face mask was the missing piece of the puzzle to achieve ultimate warmth.

The combination of woolen socks, a thick pair of pants, a winter coat, a hat, a scarf and a face mask will help students stay warm this winter.

Unfortunately, though, wearing a mask will not prevent you from inevitably slipping and sliding on the UWO sidewalks for a few months.

2. To keep your breath in check

Look, it happens to the best of us.

Everyone is guilty of occasionally having bad breath, but this should no longer be an issue thanks to masks.
Putting on a mask essentially traps your nose with your mouth, so there is no longer any excuse to be unaware of the smell of your breath.

This should also save us all from one of the absolute worst circumstances a human can encounter: wondering whether or not to tell the person that you are talking to that their breath smells awful.

And at the very least, this may make people more conscious of how many onions they get on that wrap from Blackhawk Xpress.

3. To shield the smell of dumpsters by Blackhawk

If you’ve ever walked past Blackhawk Commons on the High Avenue sidewalk, you have probably also had the displeasure of smelling the Blackhawk dumpsters.

It’s not particularly surprising that the discards of a day’s worth of cafeteria food smells so awful, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.

While wearing a mask in this area helps soften the blow of the nauseating smell, I can attest from personal experience that it does not go away completely. I doubt that any number of masks could fully protect you from the smell of all the rotting buffalo chicken pizza that probably resides in that dumpster.

4. To hide your identity in public

Do you ever just want to go outside without getting recognized?

I know I do.

Luckily, while wearing a mask, you’re about halfway to being virtually unrecognizable. Just throw on a hat, and maybe a pair of sunglasses if you’re really committed, and you will feel no shame as you make a late night run to the Corner Convenience Store for a bag of gummy bears.

Also, the partial anonymity protects your identity from being revealed when doing embarrassing things such as dropping your entire tray of food in the middle of a crowd at Blackhawk.

5. To hide the fact that you haven’t shaved/done your makeup

During a normal semester, there’s some expectation to look your best for your classes and social gatherings, but now that most classes or online and everyone is confined to their dorms, who cares?

Now anytime you will be seen in public, the lower half of your face will remain a mystery to all.

This temporary suspension of social expectations will give us all a chance to stop worrying and dedicating time to appearing “good” for people who probably don’t even care.

I would say use that time to go do something fun, but to be completely honest, there isn’t much to do given the current circumstances, so… read a book.