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March 22, 2021

Should You Buy a Mask or Bum a Freebee?

Recently, there have been conflicts over the reason to buy a mask. People ask, “Why can’t I get a mask for free?” The answer is a bit complicated.

Photo by Robin Benzrihem on Unsplash

Putting a stop to the virus-like COVID-19 is a matter starving it, keeping it from finding new victims.  Masks are one of the few effective safeguards that we can take that will reduce the spread of the disease.  

Recently, there have been conflicts over the reason to buy a mask. People ask, “Why can’t I get a mask for free?” The answer is a bit complicated.

PPE or Personal Protective Equipment like the disposable masks that a doctor wears are under shortage in the United States. There are barely enough masks for hospitals, so getting one yourself requires you to pay.

Reusable masks like layered cotton are labor-intensive. Most of the manufacturers of the higher quality masks are small businesses or individuals in the community. These groups may donate masks, but whether they do is dependent on their willingness to donate time, labor, and the cost of materials. If you get a mask from a larger manufacturer, then it is even less likely that they will be donating to those who need it in our community.

If you can afford a mask, please do not look for a free one. If you spend money on shoes, clothing, and weddings, you can set aside some money for a mask. It is inexcusable to search for a free mask when those shoes are Air Jordan’s, the clothing is Versace, and the weddings come with a catering service that exceeds your mortgage cost.

There are many people who cannot afford a mask.  If you are willing to pay for a mask, you are helping to fund free masks for those people who do not have the ability to pay for one.

There is something more important right now than a large double mocha cappuccino.

Erik Stoltz

Student | Entreprenuer
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