Texas Tech University

Mask, Phone, Wallet, and Keys: College Life Amidst a Pandemic

Dawson Westurn & Rebecca Israel, Peer Educators

October 8th, 2020

Mask. Phone. Wallet. Keys. A familiar checklist by all in the midst of a global pandemic.

Let's stop for a moment to consider: Why is wearing a mask really that important and how did we get to this point?

When you are in a public space, wearing a mask can help others from catching an illness. At Texas Tech we have a large campus, full of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Having a large campus means that we don't know how SARS-CoV-19 (AKA: The one and only COVID-19) will impact all of those around us while in public, as they may have underlying, invisible conditions. Face coverings are the first line of defense against airborne droplets transmitting to (or from) others. Masks that cover your nose and mouth snugly will help protect yourself and others from the airborne droplets that are released while talking and breathing. Whether you are in a classroom, a supermarket, or you're walking on campus, remember to wear your mask to ensure protection for you and those you're around!

Peer reviewed research and CDC guidelines are the greatest weapons of knowledge we have in combating the spread of COVID-19. Peer reviewed journals cover topics ranging from the effects on mental and physical health relating to COVID-19 and those effects on our society at large. Articles that have scientific backing are important to read to stay as up-to-date as possible on emerging data.

Access to a plethora of knowledge has great benefits, however opinions written as fact or articles formatted to look professional documents might lead the reader in the wrong direction. Confirmation bias is when an individual only seeks out articles/papers/journals that agree with their own beliefs. This allows readers to quickly dismiss any info that does not align with their existing beliefs. In this day and age of everything digital, most of us have experienced confirmation bias at one point in our lives. Luckily for us, there's an easy cure to combat confirmation bias. "Treatments" include searching for research that is contradictory to your own existing belief systems and having an open mind while reading. Who knows what you might discover!

We've linked some peer-reviewed articles below to help you continue (or start) your research into COVID-19 safety. Remember the list below is just a start; the TTU library has an online database with many more articles for you to find! We as Red Raiders strive for honor in everything we do; we must educate ourselves and others about COVID-19 so that we can continue to stay as healthy as possible going into this winter.

At Texas Tech, it'll be a team effort to establish a culture that includes mindfulness around disease prevention. This culture not only incorporates wearing a well-fitting face mask, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing, but going a step further and making sure those around us know the benefits of wearing a mask and keeping our community safe through continued education and research.

Look out for yourself, your friends, and others on campus while keeping in mind that though our experiences during the pandemic may be wildly different, we're truly all in this together.


Links to start your COVID-19 Research:

Shows what wearing face masks does 2-3 weeks after

Psychology & Mask wearing

"Wearing a mask is kindness"

Wearing a Mask: Myths and Facts

What All We Should Know About Masks in COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 checklist: Mask, gloves, and video chatting with grandpa

Mask use during COVID-19: A risk adjusted strategy


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