DB4- Prevention of Covid-19 by wearing mask

Since March, protecting ourselves from Covid-19 has become a daily routine that some people can't seem to mix into their schedule. I am talking about masks and the meaning/ statement that it holds as it pertains to different people.Some look at wearing a mask/ not wearing it as a political statement, some think they are not needed because the virus is a hoax, some claim to have preexisting conditions that doesn't allow them to breath in mask and others wear theirs while they're sleeping. They have been told to protect us, but they have to be worn by people wanting protection. So the ethical question at issue becomes, should we have to wear a mask and whose choice should that be to make. All throughout America states have mandates and regulations that are set in place to try to contain the virus  preventing it from spreading by requiring face masks be worn. There is a lot of back and forth about rule/ law making between the state and federal guidelines and some states have even been forced to stop their regulations and policies put in place. However, Utah's health department has mandated that everyone in the state has to wear a mask. After a tremendous rise in COVID-19 cases, this policy was put in place and people are not happy about it. According to Deseret News University of Utah's health director says that if something doesn't change that more people will die and more people will be needed to take care of them. This issue could possibly be resolved looking at these 5 steps. 

  1. What is intrinsically good? To protect other people, wearing a mask to protect yourself and stopping the spread, peaceful protesting 
  2. What is intrinsically bad? Deaths, fighting, spreading the virus, state outrage, violent protesting 
  3. The options available are to wear a mask or be pursued by the law, there is the option of every business and establishment on the same track helping monitor the spread of the virus. 
  4. If a mask is to be worn then it allows the virus to be contained, allowing for it to be spread to less people. If businesses were to all be on the same track with guidelines pertaining to wearing masks, it would allow/ force more people either into their homes or not going out and spreading the virus in public. 
  5. The action that allows for moral duty is the choice to wear a mask in public or when around anyone unknown. Helping contain the virus so that we may one day return to our “ normal lives” 

I would give the effectiveness of this solution a solid 7. We are being told that mask protect us and give us a better  chance at surviving/ not catching the virus at all and we have seen surveys and studies that can prove so but on the other end we are dealing with a virus that is still very new and flourishing but it flourishes more when mandates such as mask are not put into place. If there were any studies that showed a correlation between wearing mask and developing the virus further or not helping the spread of the virus , then the effectiveness of this resolution would then be taken down. 


Taylor Leonard October 16, 2020, 9:37 PM

Hi Stacy! I agree with this 100% I believe we all need to we all need to wear masks in order to not only protect ourselves but others. I have seen a lot of people explain why they don't have to wear masks even some people with doctors notes as a person with bad asthma also able to get a note I think thats more so a reason for me to wear a mask cause it would be bad if I got it. I also don't understand how some younger kids can be so cruel as to not wearing a mask because "it wont matter if they get it" but they need to understand that they could be giving it to someone who may die from this virus.

David Strand teacher October 22, 2020, 6:35 PM

Hi Stacy, There's a lot of discussion about masks these days. One question is whether masks are effective at reducing the transmission risks of COVID. Another question is whether a mask mandate would usurp individual liberty. I read an article the other day that argued that choosing not to wear a mask is not an act of freedom, because it undermines the freedom of others to live their lives free of infection. The utilitarian would certainly be willing to impose mask mandates to serve the greater good. How might the advantages and disadvantages outlined in the text help us think more about your evaluation of this issue?

Frédérique Russo October 23, 2020, 4:27 PM

Hi! I completely agree with you, masks protect us and prevent us from contracting Covid-19. I am from Quebec, and there are people here too who are against masks, believing they are not necessary and are of no use. Also, some decide not to wear them simply because they do not fear the virus, but in my opinion, they should consider people around them and wear their mask in order to keep others safe. In our Ethics class, we learned about many theories, including one named Utilitarianism by Jeremy Bentham, which would most likely be applicable in this case. This approach states that decisions should be made by promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number. Therefore, when looking at both sides, would it generate more pleasure for most people to wear masks or not? As you mentioned, we are being told that masks protect us and slow down the spread of the virus, therefore a Utilitarian would probably suggest that wearing masks is the best decision since it promotes the safety and happiness of most people. Your publication was very interesting, great work!

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