It is quite a frightening fact that many people wear unclean masks with impunity. Not only the illiterate, but even the literate people are least bothered about this unhealthy habit. It is quite noticed many in the market areas wearing masks that have not been washed once ever since they have purchased. Some just wear below the nose and some sling the piece around the neck. I think this is the most ‘serious’ concern when the COVID cases are increasing exponentially. Moreover, how could we guarantee that the wearing of the unclean mask is not ‘one of the causes’ of what we have been going through now? I do firmly believe that unclean/unwashed masks are more dangerous than wearing no mask. Can we not ascertain this fact with the help of a microscope? I think our complacency is proving suicidal.
Hence, with all urgency, I would request the government to take serious note of this unhealthy practice. I think the health authorities in their directives should have prefixed the mask with ‘clean’ as, ‘wear a clean mask’ instead of just ‘wear a mask’. The police force now should aggressively check and penalize those defaulters wearing unclean masks. The unclean mask lends the breeding space not just for COVID -19 but for other viruses/bacteria as well. One strongly feels here that the government should not overlook the unhealthy habit of the citizens. Even a ‘small negligence’ of one citizen can lead to mass infection. Unlike in the west, uncleanliness is one of the inherent traits of most of our people in our country. We can fight back the COVID virus only with the weapon of healthy habits and alertness.
An India-based writer and researcher, Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great Minds on India’.