Because today is the 2nd anniversary of the start of the covid-19 lockdown in Belgium, I wanted to create and share a poster to raise awareness about the (ongoing) importance of wearing face masks during the (ongoing) pandemic.
You can download it here in pdf: Why I love masks
Why masks and other measures are still important:
While governments in european/western countries pretend that the pandemic is over, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the covid stats yourself and act accordingly. If you live in Belgium, you can find the official stats here. At this moment the number of infections in Belgium is rising again and the number of daily hospitalisations is so high we’d almost be back in code red (I’m curious how long the government will manage to ignore that).
For me it makes sense to always keep the “Swiss cheese approach” in mind (see image above). It means: don’t rely just on one measure to keep the rates of infections, hospitalisations, and deaths down but use them all as much as possible: vaccines, masks, distance, ventilation, meeting outdoors / in small groups, testing, isolation after risk contacts and/or symptoms, working from home if you can (hello boss)… you know the drill. I’m totally pro-vaxx but unfortunately only relying on vaccines is not enough. Besides, those same european/western countries are responsible for the lack of available vaccines in other countries which also contributes to the ongoing pandemic.
So, that’s why it makes me sad and angry that f.e. the mask mandate has been lifted here and that a lot of individual people don’t decide to continue wearing face masks indoors. Yet, it’s a very easy layer of protection, something everyone can do. Face masks are not primarily used to protect yourself from covid-19 (although they do help!) but to protect others, especially those most at risk. Wearing them is an act of solidarity and care. Let’s fight ageism and ableism and show that we care about others (hello intersectional activists). Let’s not rely only on capitalist governments to take care of our health and well-being, and take responsibility ourselves. Let’s learn from all the waves we’ve survived and help put an end to more deaths, more grief, more long covid, more suffering. Thank you.
Text on the poster:
WHY I ❤ WEARING MY FACE MASK
(huge thanks to my friends for helping me to compile this list of advantages… and there might be many more reasons why face masks are useful and cool)
- helps protect other people from covid-19 and other viruses
- can help reduce allergic reactions to pollen and pollution
- helps protect against dust and flying bugs when walking or cycling
- anonymity for activists and introverts
- another proof for the ridiculousness of anti-burqa laws
- no need to shave or apply lipstick
- the colourful and fun patterns of reusable masks
- warm, cosy, and snuggly on cold days
- easy to hide your facial expression and no pressure to smile