Mask dilemma reveals diverse perspectives

07 Jan 2024 05:30pm
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Bernama
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Bernama

SHAH ALAM – As Covid-19 cases rise in anticipation of holiday gatherings, Malaysia faces a renewed mask dilemma.

While the Health Ministry urged vigilance and preventive measures, individuals hold varied perspectives on masking, showcasing a spectrum of compliance and concerns.

Sinar Daily explored individuals' journeys in discovering the varying levels of mask usage and the effects observed through this expedition.

Muhammad Haziq Noor Affandi, 25 a student, said that he diligently wears a mask whenever he goes out, particularly in crowded spaces, public transportation, or unfamiliar areas.

“In my perspective, this habit serves as a personal defence mechanism and contributes to curbing the potential spread of infections to others.

“Through this habit, I think it could be safer if Malaysians could wear a mask often, and it may reduce the number of percentages who may get infections by masking every day.

“This sense of responsibility prompts me to wear a mask regularly, as a Malaysian citizen; it is imperative to do so persistently,” he said, as this practice is rooted in his belief that consistent masking is crucial.

In his perspective, Haziq stressed that adopting a routine of consistent mask-wearing contributes significantly to enhancing safety from the threat of the coronavirus.

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In a related matter, Nurul Alya Ahmad Rohaizad, a student, 24, said she has made it a practice to wear a mask anytime she goes outside since the number of Covid-19 cases has recently increased.

“I want to avoid getting sick, and recently I have been getting runny noses, so I wear my mask to make sure other people don't get sick.

“I don't want to make people sick or get myself sick; that's why I wear my mask. It's helpful.

“Wearing a mask is a responsible practice, especially given the current rise in Covid cases,” she said.

She urged that even if it's just a minor cough or sneeze, she believes wearing a mask is better.

However, Hana, 20, a private sector worker, said in the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, she consistently wore a mask whenever she went outside.

As time progressed, her mask-wearing frequency decreased.

Nevertheless, she also has implemented a safety measure in which to wear a mask in large crowds.

“My motivation for this practice revolves around ensuring safety, not just for myself but also for the well-being of those around me, particularly my loved ones.

“It is important to wear a mask when feeling unwell, as it is a preventive measure to protect others from potential illness transmission.

“Through my observations, wearing a mask has proven effective in preventing the transmission of Covid-19, contributing to a reduction in the overall infection rate,” Hana said.

In the meantime, Zaliha Radzi, 57, a civil servant, shared her point of view, saying that wearing a mask is a personal choice, and for her, it depends on the situation.

“I tend to wear one in crowded places where there are many people, but I may not wear a mask when with just a few individuals.

“The decision to wear a mask is rooted in the idea of staying healthy and preventing illness.

“Taking proactive measures for health is essential. In addition, it is crucial to ensure the mask is clean and effectively covers the face.

“It's a precautionary step that indicates a concern for personal well-being,” Zaliha said.

She further highlighted that in the medical field, professionals like doctors and nurses wear masks not only to shield themselves from infections but also to prevent the spread of viruses to others.

Syazwan Abdullah, 35, a business owner, firmly stands by the choice of not wearing a mask at all.

He said his decision adheres to a combination of factors, primarily centred around a perceived difficulty in breathing while wearing a mask.

“I acknowledged the importance of wearing a mask to mitigate the risk of spreading potential infections to others.

“However, sometimes I forget to bring a mask, which contributes to the overall inconsistency in adopting this preventive measure.

“My selective use of masks is contingent on specific circumstances, particularly when I exhibit symptoms associated with illness,” Syazwan said.

Despite Syazwan's general aversion to mask-wearing, he was willing to avoid crowded places when symptomatic.