Ducks Share Their Reasons for Masking Up
Living in Eugene as a full-time student is a privilege Maddie Cooke doesn’t want to jeopardize.
“I know the importance of taking care of my community and those around me, so wearing a mask is a small but essential role I can play in order to protect others,” said the co-president of the University of Oregon’s International Student Association.
As the state continues to set new records for daily COVID-19 cases — and as Lane County braces for winter with a 12 percent community infection rate — members of the UO community are sharing their motives for wearing face coverings as part of the university’s I Wear a Mask 2.0 campaign. Developed to encourage safe habits during the ongoing pandemic, the campaign asks Ducks to reflect on why wearing a mask matters to them.
Many of the participants cited concern for friends, roommates and loved ones as their primary reason for masking up.
“I wear a mask so that I can protect the people I love, but also everyone in my community whether I know them or not,” said Eliza Aronson, a student in the School of Journalism and Communication.
The campaign launches amid mounting evidence that wearing a mask helps prevent transmission of the virus. Recent data from Carnegie Mellon University shows that in states where mask usage is prevalent, fewer people report knowing someone who has COVID-19 symptoms. In Oregon, where more than 80 percent of people wear masks in public, just 17 percent know someone with symptoms.
“I wear a mask to be a part of stopping the spread,” said Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean and Professor of Dance for the UO School of Music and Dance. “I wear a mask because I’m longing for things to return to normal.”
With a potential vaccine on the horizon, several participants expressed hope that their efforts to help curb the virus’s spread will pay off in the future.
“I wear a mask because it’s one of the best things we can do to make the world a more comfortable place to live in again,” said multimedia journalism student Sarah Miller.
Why I Wear a Mask