Police, please wear masks

BY: CLAIRE KIM

Since the outbreak of the BLM protests across the country, several thousands of citizens have encountered physical altercations with the police, intended or not. Getting beaten by a baton for screaming for justice to burning their eyes from the overuse of teargas, protestors have suffered too great of injuries in the last few weeks. Yet, their vulnerability doesn’t end here. Direct or indirect contact with police officers, who fail to wear proper masks in light of the coronavirus, is just as dangerous if not worse.

While they assumingly “protect” themselves with accessories such as helmets and gloves (which most of the time aren’t even worn due to the discomfort they provide), police officers in all states are to be blamed for the lack of proper facial gear worn during the pandemic.

Fifty+ police officers all aligned in one row, no masks or protective face guards, specifically for the transmission of the coronavirus, are caught on camera… This is a shameless scene to observe. How can a department funded by millions of dollars not be able to spend a nickel for masks? How are the police, supposed “saviors of the city”, going to protect fellow citizens if they aren’t being mindful of their own potential to spread the virus?

While some may argue that the helmets police are wearing are just as effective as traditional masks, such reasoning needs to be examined. Compare a plastic shield that is at least one to two inches away from the mouth and nose to the characteristics of a recommended mask by health officials: “a covering made of fiber or gauze and fitting over the nose and mouth to protect against dust or air pollutants.” Do you see the inconsistency?

Police aren’t an exception. No one is, and this idea has been made clear time after time by the CDC guidelines. Police, please wear masks… for the safety of all people.

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