Should face masks be mandatory?


Lily Robison

Face masks are being made mandatory to were for some workers.

Lily Robison, Reporter

Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island employees and customers are required to wear a mask when working or entering a business. In Kansas, masks are not required by all. However Kwik Shop, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco have or will soon be making it mandatory for all employees to wear face masks.

Costco and Kwik Shop have put out statements allowing special circumstances and medical conditions to be excused.

The masks will be provided by management, or employees can wear their own. The masks are not required to be worn by customers, except for Costco customers, but it is advised.

Although this idea may be thought to be a step in the right direction to some to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it may not be for all.

The World Health Organization has said there is no reason for a healthy person to wear a mask. They’ve also said masks should be used by those who are exposed or by those who are caring for people exposed to COVID-19. However, the CDC and governor Laura Kelly recommend wearing masks because COVID-19 can spread to others before the carrier may even know.

For victims of trauma who have been held down and unable to breath by a perpetrator, a face mask can feel restricting and cause flashbacks and PTSD.

My mom is a manager of one these companies that is requiring face masks. She is someone who has dealt with trauma that causes her to fear wearing a mask due to her perpetrator restricting her breathing. She has told her district manager that she would quit her job before ever wearing a mask because it would bring back many painful flashbacks and cause her to experience panic attacks.

Three of her co-workers have all told their boss that they would need to quit working at the business if they were unable to get out of wearing the mask because of the same reasons. If more people become unemployed due to this reason, those people could be making no stable income causing them to have a few more problems to worry about.

If people are able to get out of wearing a mask when it is mandatory using this as a reason, will others say it as well or maybe even make up crazy reasons why they can’t wear a mask? When is it necessary to put the health of all above people who would have serious triggers if they were made to wear a mask?

Before I thought about it this way, I thought masks should probably be worn while out in public just in case and for higher protection by everyone, but now it makes me wonder. Everyone wants to feel safe when going to the grocery store, but making it mandatory may have a bigger impact on some people’s life than any of us will ever know. Although I still believe people should continue to social distance, take all precautions and wear masks as long as they feel safe to do so, I don’t think it should be required.


Walmart & Sam’s Club