Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

14 Reasons Why Anyone Would Want to Wear a Mask

“And how about 14 reason why WEAR a mask? I do not recall any country in the world which made such a fuss about mask. Americans pay the price. Unfortunately the one who wear a mask for those jerks who do not.”

14 Reasons Why Anyone Would Want to Wear a Mask

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

That paragraph you just read was written by Fonzi, who is a reader of The Gate and commented in response to this article called 14 Reasons Why Anyone Would Refuse to Wear a Mask.

I thought that fulfilling that reasonable request would only be fair — so here goes…

1. Recommended By Many Experts in Health Care.

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

More people every day believe that statement that masks and cloth coverings for the nose and mouth are effective at significantly reducing the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — to the point where airlines, lodging companies, and countless other businesses are implementing policies which require employees and customers to wear a mask or covering over their faces in public areas at all times; and to the point where certain “bloggers” and other media regurgitate that point ad nauseum.

Numerous studies over the years suggest that masks may — I repeat: may — help prevent people who have contracted the 2019 Novel Coronavirus from spreading the virus to others, as evidenced by this statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain. CDC’s recommendations for masks will be updated as new scientific evidence becomes available.

Not until Friday, April 3, 2020 did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention change course and recommend covering your face with a simple cloth face covering — such as a scarf as one of many examples — in order to slow the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States. That recommendation conflicted with the World Health Organization, which still advised against wearing masks for several more weeks before it, too, changed its recommendation.

Some people claim that the initial recommendation of not to wear masks was due to a significant shortage of them and that the two of the top health organizations were reluctant to recommend them, as they did not want to encourage panic among the general population. Others say that scientific evidence and new information has changed with this new virus, which caused the recommendations to change from not wearing masks and coverings for the face to strongly encourage — to the point of just short of mandating — the practice.

That knowledge is supposedly logical: a covering on the face impedes on the amount of water droplets — which are used as a vehicle for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus to travel — which are dispersed into the air; and therefore should slow a virus or contagious germ of any type from spreading.

2. Protection From Odors.

Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

I was washing my hands in a public toilet recently in a place where wearing masks or coverings for the nose and mouth were required, when I heard ominous sounds coming from an occupied stall:

Brrrrriippp. Flizzle. Plop.



I will spare you more of the sound effects — but let’s just say I am glad that that guy chose not to gamble with the possibility that the feeling he was enduring prior to using the toilet was mere flatulence…

…although I felt sorry for that poor toilet he was uncontrollably feeding, as I am sure that it — as well as its immediate surroundings — resembled more of a pointillist painting by Georges Seurat from the post-Impressionist period in art at this…



Normally, I would brace for one of the most offensive assaults to my olfactory sense — cringing for that telltale dead weight stench of the malfunctioning innards of the large intestine of some poor guy, holding my breath with dreadful anticipation…

…until I realized that I was wearing a mask — and I was spared. While the breathing was not as free flowing as when a mask is not worn — and not as free flowing as the expulsion which was apparently occurring from Lava Man — I felt a wave of relief that I did not have to bolt out of that public washroom like a banshee.

Now imagine how much more pleasant being seated aboard an airplane will become when some anonymous fellow passenger releases one of those silent but deadly flatulence bombs. While it is not exactly a breath of fresh air, the mask or cloth covering for the nose and mouth will certainly be a welcome improvement in that situation, as it mitigates unwanted or toxic odors.

By the way, I actually did spend a Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte years ago.

3. Protect Your Identity.

Mask goggles
Composite photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Not that I am a rogue person who goes and does things publicly of which I am ashamed or embarrassed; but there is something to be said about not being recognized anywhere I go: put on a mask or cloth covering for my mouth and nose, wear a pair of sunglasses, don a cap or hat, and voilà! No one recognizes me.

Wearing a mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth protects your identity, as you are more disguised while wearing one — this is perfect for the introvert in you; or if you are approaching a person whom you do not want to recognize you because you might owe him or her some money — but the feeling is almost a quite bizarre form of privacy…

4. Hide Your Expression With Ease.

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Did someone ever tell you something which caused you to have a difficult time to hide your facial expression? For example, perhaps someone was telling you something he or she considered tragic but struck you as funny?

Now you can hide your expression with ease behind the mask of…er…a mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth.

Of course, masks and face condoms — er…I mean cloth coverings for the face — still cannot hide your eyes when they roll in disbelief or skepticism…

5. Improved Health Conditions in General — Especially in Restaurants.

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

In support of the restaurant industry in general, I have been ordering food to take out from dining establishments throughout the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic; and I have been leaving gratuities for members of the staff to help them through even though I did not receive table service — but they did take my order over the telephone or via the Internet, cook the food, and bring it to me in a bag…

…but as I observed each restaurant while waiting for my order to be fulfilled, I realized that everyone in the process of preparing my food were wearing masks — from the cooks to the servers — and I had never thought about the integrity of the safety of my food being compromised prior to the pandemic, when members of the staff could do anything from breath on my food to actually sampling it before I receive it.

Of course, I never thought about it because I do not remember the last time I was sick with food poisoning or some other ailment which could have affected my stomach or digestive system — but seeing that my food was further protected by members of the staff who were wearing masks was an additional comfort; and I appreciate that increase in safety in the preparation and serving of food at restaurants when all members of the staff wear masks or cloth coverings for their noses and mouths…

…although I am sure that the cooks probably were not comfortable wearing those hot masks around the constant heat of the ovens and stoves for hours at a time.

6. Eat What You Want and Hide Your Bad Breath and Teeth.

Open jaw
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

If you want to skip brushing your teeth or using that numbing powerful mouthwash in the morning, no problem — just wear your mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth, and only you need to suffer from your own repulsive halitosis or yellowish-brown teeth.

C’mon. Admit it. You know your stomach is hankering for that limburger cheese, liverwurst, and lutefisk sandwich slathered with pungent garlic, sour pickles, and strong onions on olive loaf toast. Go on. Eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — or all three meals. You know you want it, you naughty person, you…

…and with your nose and mouth covered by a mask or cloth covering for your face, you can now indulge in that delectable gastronomically gourmet delight without having to worry about your overpowering bad breath asphyxiating your companion or colleague — and you do not have to worry about being charged with murder as a result.

If you do eat a sandwich such as this, know that you are relegated to smelling you own breath — and also, just remember poor Lava Man in Reason 2…

7. Hide Your Scarred Unshaven Face Covered With Pimples and Sores — and No Lipstick or Makeup

If your face is scarred or covered with pimples — or you have a cold sore on your lip — relax. The mask or cloth covering for your face will cover the unsightly imperfections — as well as hide the fact that you have not shaved that morning.

Notice that I did not apply a gender to the last sentence, because I once visited the office of a client in New York whose female receptionist had a beard; and the co-workers cruelly poked fun at her behind her back — even wiggling their fingers under their chins to emulate the beard.

She could have used a mask back then…

…and women who usually apply and reapply lipstick constantly throughout the day get a reprieve, as wearing a mask definitely limits the need to do this. The same could also potentially be true for other select types of makeup.

Saving money on such items as shaving cream or lipstick — as well as saving time — are certainly benefits to wearing a mask or cloth covering for your face.

8. Comfort — Especially in Cold Dry Weather.

Snow Atlanta December 8 2017
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

In addition to limiting the number of water droplets which are dispersed into the air, masks and cloth coverings for the nose and mouth also impede upon the amount of air flowing when we breathe; and some people find that to be uncomfortable — such as the aforementioned cooks in restaurants — especially when wearing them for hours on end throughout the day during the hot days of summer…

…but imagine how nice and toasty warm the moist air which is generated by you will feel during the cold dry weather of winter — especially when you are outside. Combine that with a scarf, eyeglasses, and a covering for your head; and you will likely be better protected from the harsh elements of the cold weather — and simultaneously potentially save thousands of dollars on lip balm.

9. Fashion — and Vanity.

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Let’s face it — some people are superficial and shallow; and because the face is the most recognizable part of the body, those people would automatically eschew wearing masks or cloth coverings for the nose and mouth…

…but some people in the fashion industry are attempting to create a positive trend which is becoming fashionable. In fact, masks are being used to coordinate with outfits, uniforms for sports teams — or simply to make a statement and speak their minds, similar to messages and images which are printed on T-shirts and bumper stickers.

Masks and cloth coverings for the nose and mouth are now available in all colors, patterns, shapes, and sizes. You can even customize your own design for the mask or cloth covering for your own nose and mouth.

In other words: as you must wear a mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth for the foreseeable future, you may as well be creative about it and express yourself however you see fit…

…but in this sensitive political climate, you may want to ensure that whatever you sport on your mask or cloth covering for your face does not offend someone…

10. Automatic Acceptance.

Some people have become increasingly vehement about everyone wearing masks — to the point where they claim that those who do not wear masks or coverings for their faces as disrespectful or “having blood on their hands” — and these are people who automatically blindly accept what they read or hear without knowing the reasoning behind what they accept…

…even if that means possibly unwittingly doing more harm in the process than good.

Only mere months ago would the wearing of a mask of covering for the nose and mouth in public be met with glances of disbelief, skepticism, or confusion in the United States, as people would have generally thought that the look was weird — but not anymore. Not in recent weeks.

Certainly not today…

11. Hopping Aboard the Latest “Cool” Bandwagon.

…and in fact, wearing a mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth lessens the possibility of being scolded by someone if you were caught in public without wearing one — because not only is doing so necessary in many places, but it is actually cool.

Along with such movements as Occupy Wall Street, Me Too, and Black Lives Matter, some people tend to practice something known as virtue signaling, which is “the sharing of one’s point of view on a social or political issue, often on social media, in order to garner praise or acknowledgment of one’s righteousness from others who share that point of view, or to passively rebuke those who do not”, according to this definition from

Virtue signaling has been increasing with regard to the wearing of masks or coverings on the face. Some people think that by being vocal about scolding people who do not wear masks — especially when they do not know the reason behind that supposed defiance — they are saving lives while being “cool”.

They’re not. Rather, they are simply being little more than annoying…

…and some people go so far as to say that anyone who is concerned about people who do not wear masks or coverings for their faces would be better off simply isolating themselves at home in order to stay safe.

However, all of this means nothing when you are wearing a mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth — so you have no need to be concerned.


12. Potential Costume Ideas — Especially for Halloween.

Ybor City Halloween
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

As wearing a mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth is still a novel way of protection from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, it is a good idea to wear one as part of a quick costume idea — especially for Halloween, which is only two months and 24 days away and will creep up quicker than a black stray cat in a dark alley, strutting confidently about how he got cat class and got cat style.

Think of all of the costume ideas you can conjure in no time at all with your mask: a surgeon, a bank robber, a superhero — the possibilities are endless.

13. Sneeze. Cough. Yawn. No Longer a Need to Cover Your Mouth.

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

No longer do you need to be as inconsiderate as the poor fellow whom you see in the photograph shown above who is not covering his mouth as he coughs up a frenzy — and a lung.

No sirree — with a mask or cloth covering already over your nose and mouth, you can sneeze, cough, or yawn to your heart’s content, even though still using your arm to further cover the cough, sneeze, or yawn is not a bad idea…

…but if you are sneezing and coughing a lot, you might have something about which to be concerned pertaining to your health — especially as coughing is considered to be one of at least 13 possible symptoms of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

14. Contributing to an Industry.

Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Tens of millions of people have become unemployed over the past several months because of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic — but a burgeoning industry has either been created or boosted because of the demand for masks or cloth coverings for the face, which could mean jobs…

…although some of that industry is based in China — the same country in which the 2019 Novel Coronavirus purportedly originated.

Another industry which possibly stands to benefit from the wearing of masks is sanitation and cleanup of hazardous waste, as some disgusting and thoughtlessly selfish people tend to dispose of their used masks, cloth coverings for the nose and mouth, and gloves simply by dropping them on the ground and littering in the process.

15. Not a Real Reason Bonus: Drool Stopper.

If you have ever awoken to a cool pool of drool which has puddled on your plushy pillow, fear not: the mask or cloth covering for your nose and mouth will mitigate the flow of that intrepid fountain of youth as you sleep soundly…

…but of course, you would then encounter the new issue of a wet mask.

Actually, forget this reason entirely: not wearing a mask or cloth covering over your face is strongly recommended, as it could constitute a choking hazard — meaning that you can tell that I have struggled to get the number of reasons up to 15.


Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 or HCoV-19 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources.

Policies for masks or coverings for the nose and mouth continue to evolve at airlines, lodging companies, and other corporations within the travel industry — as well as elsewhere. Do not be surprised if companies within the travel industry adopt policies which either strongly recommend or outright require the wearing of goggles, face visors or shields, or some other approved form of protection for the eyes…

…but the culture of wearing masks appears to be part of the abominable “new normal” to which we will be expected to conform for the foreseeable future — which means we need to make the best of it…

…so smile as you wear your mask or cloth covering for your face — even though people will not be able to see it.

Other articles at The Gate which deal with the topic of wearing masks or coverings for the nose and mouth include:

All photographs ©2015, ©2017, ©2018, and ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

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