By Lauren Chalouhi
It has been almost 3 years since the Covid-19 outbreak. The laws have changed several times over the last few years and that includes face mask regulations. One rule that’s changed is, now, in Dubai at least, you are no longer required to wear a mask outside as long as you follow social distancing and other safety protocols. Many people were happy about that but now the question is, do we have to wear a mask indoors?
According to ‘Worldometer,’ since the beginning of the pandemic to now, there have been 519,876,383 COVID cases in the world, and growing, and the UAE having 901,440 cases. Making UAE the 67th country in the world for covid cases. Dubai has been able to maintain the spread of COVID cases by initiating many protocols like lockdowns. I would say it was an efficient way to slow down the spread, at least for a while until cases were lifted. It wasn’t the most enjoyable for everyone, but it was there for our safety. I would still say that masks should be required indoors, especially because there are many small spaces and it’s hard to keep distance without masks.
There have been COVID variants like Delta, Omicron and many more that are still being discovered. Therefore, having masks mandatory may help the spread even by a tiny bit. When talking with someone, you may be sitting at a close distance and while they speak, you are at risk of catching the virus, if they have. Whereas if both people have a mask on, the chance of catching anything from the person, or the people around them are minimum. In the article, “What doctors wish patients knew about double masking,” a doctor is talking about many facts and benefits people gain by wearing masks, or doubling up and wearing two. To read more about it, go to the website and learn more facts. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/what-doctors-wish-patients-knew-about-double-masking#:~:text=If%20one%20person%20is%20using,people%20are%20double%20masking%2C%20potentially . That is why although it’s not ideal to be wearing masks, and may be a little uncomfortable for some people. All these rules are for our safety, whether we like it or not.
Many people might oppose the idea of wearing a mask. Some say that COVID has been here long enough and there are still no new changes other than the fact that we have vaccines now. If people are interested in wanting to know more about needing to wear masks, “COVID-19 Mask Guidelines Revised—Again,” is an article that talks about when wearing a mask should be necessary and the reasoning behind them being mandatory. https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/cdc-mask-guidance
With all this information, this is why I think masks should still be mandatory for indoor spaces like schools and malls. Especially with a small classroom and at least 20 students in each, it’s for our safety and others to make sure we don’t catch the virus. Although we have the vaccine, it doesn’t make us immune, it only helps fight off the harsher symptoms. So instead of taking the chance to infect yourself or others, all you have to do is wear a mask.