A few days ago I wrote a piece about how the situation in Delhi regarding pollution was getting worse each day. I tried to list some ways to protect ourselves from the smog and I wrote about how surgical masks and PM2.5 masks could help but not entirely.
Today, with the help of Tatva, the eco-society of my college, we distributed procedural masks to the auto drivers, security guards and construction workers. We tried to increase awareness about the harms of smog and encouraged them to wear the masks for as long as possible and tell others to do so as well.
I know I wrote the last time that surgical masks won’t protect you completely and will still be susceptible to PM2.5 but for people who work very close to construction sites, the dust particles and rock smoke from the drills and polishers is more dangerous than participate matter.
I saw many people thinking that having masks was somehow a symbol of accomplishment, I rather see them as symbols of failure of us as a society and a species. We need to give people water purifiers, air purifiers and anti pollution masks. There is nothing that is good about this, in an ideal situation, these machines would be obsolete.
I also accept that it was not a sure shot safety measure but due to lack of sufficient time and lack of sale of N95 masks in bulk, we had to make do with surgical masks. The measure of our success will be how many of these people choose to wear the masks tomorrow as well and how many of them discard it.
I share this to encourage people to take the initiative and provide for people who need it and lack either the awareness or the means. We distributed about 100 masks today.
We can always do more and we can always do better.