“Nose Peeking” Op-Ed

Nose Peeking Op-Ed

Stevie D. Rosenfeld, Editor

     Masks have suddenly risen to the most popular accessory worn by the human race. They seem to have become an overnight phenomenon even being worn by people of power and those in law enforcement. I jest of course, but in all seriousness, masks have become part of our daily lives and our outfits. However, there is an alarming number of people who still aren’t wearing them correctly, and it can be fixed with one simple step: pull your mask up over your nose!  

     Keeping your nose out of your mask is doing more harm than good, and here’s why. Most of us breathe through our noses when we’re sitting idle. So breathing out your nose with no mask protection is no better than doing nothing. According to “5 Mistakes While Wearing A Mask” by  Sara Bondell, “If your mask only covers your mouth, you’re wearing it wrong. We breathe partially or completely through our nose, and you can become infected by breathing in viral particles through your nostrils. A mask worn only over the mouth won’t contain droplets if you sneeze. If your nose is not covered by a mask, you also risk contamination from the mask itself, which collects germs on its exterior.” When your nose hangs out of your mask, as you can see, is as good as not wearing one at all, and can in some cases be worse than wearing not wearing one due to the germs that collect on the mask itself.

    NBCDFW also has some pretty good evidence against the nose peeking trend. A by them in Cell Journal mapped locations in the respiratory tract where the COVID-19 virus most quickly invades, multiplies and spreads. They found the cells that line the nose were significantly more likely to become infected with and shed the virus compared to the throat or lungs. That means, every time a person exhales through their nose, they are likely generating a higher concentration of infectious aerosol than if they were simply breathing from their mouth. It also means, in order to block that infectious cloud from escaping to infect other people, it’s just as important to cover your nose with a mask.


   If it were me, that would be convincing enough. By leaving your nose uncovered, you’re purposely leaving the most susceptible part of your body open for the world to see and for the virus to infect. It almost seems to go against common sense that hundreds of thousands of people are fine with just letting their nose out. What is some peoples’ reasoning behind this? If it’s for comfort, suck it up. If it’s because you “can’t breathe,” you’re lying. If it’s in protest, you just look plain stupid and you’re achieving nothing and putting yourself and those around you at risk. If your mask happens to slip over it, it takes less than a second to fix it. The CDC has an entire webpage dedicated to how to wear your mask correctly and comfortably, and nowhere does it say that it’s okay to leave your nose out.  

     According to the previously mentioned CDC guidelines, children under two years old and people with serious—and I want to stress serious—breathing problems are excused from wearing masks. If you are not a part of that small minority, then there is no excuse for keeping your nose outside your mask. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, you must be vigilant and willing to do small things like wear a mask correctly and social distancing. Wearing a mask correctly hurts no one, but helps us all.


Marco Ingrassia – Author