The Very Simple Truth About Wearing a Face Mask — It Should Not Be too Difficult to Understand!
According to health experts wearing a face mask, even homemade one made of cotton, is an effective method in reducing the transmission of coronavirus
Many people around the world refuse to wear a face mask despite the authorities mandating that they should wear it to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Some people wear face masks so they enter various establishments, such as supermarkets, drugstores, banks, and more. However, they often remove the mask when they are already inside.
In the U.S. several states are re-opening but still order people to stay at home. At the same time, they are requiring people to wear face masks when they go out of their homes to minimize the spread of the highly contagious and deadly virus.
Orders to wear a face mask
Despite all the warnings from the government, medical professionals and other concerned organizations, many people remain adamant.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including several states are recommending the wearing of cloth masks. During the early days of the pandemic, healthcare practitioners were saying that face masks would not do anything to contain the spread of coronavirus. The inherent reason was the instant scarcity of the supply of face masks. So the directive was to reserve the masks for medical workers, and for people who are asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic. They said that the public do not need to wear face coverings. They also thought that wearing a mask gave people a false sense of security, which can derail the implementation of other health protocols.
But later the same health organizations recommended that people wear homemade cloth masks to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Why was there a reversal?
Health experts who continue to make various studies on COVID-19 now firmly agree that wearing a mask can prevent the spread of coronavirus. But people in the West are hesitant to wear masks because they are not used to it. Wearing a face covering when they have a cough, cold or flu is more common in many parts of Asia. Moreover, several studies showed conclusive evidence that face masks can prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Benefits of wearing a mask
Infectious disease specialist Peter Chin-Hong, MD and epidemiologist George Rutherford, MD of the University of California San Francisco discussed reasons why wearing a mask is recommended and the benefits people will get from it.
They said that many evidence from various studies show that the viral load peaks a few days before appearance of symptoms. At this stage, speaking alone with release the virus from droplets.
There were also laboratory studies that showed evidence regarding respiratory droplets and how the different types of masks can block the virus. Using a high-speed video in one experiment, they found that hundreds of droplets of about 20 to 500 micrometers were expelled when a person says a simple phrase. But all the droplets were blocked when a damp washcloth covered a person’s mouth. Another study showed that a person with the common cold or flu who wore a surgical mask greatly reduced the emission of the respiratory virus.
There several real-world situations where people, even those suffering from mild cases of coronavirus infection did not infect people around them since they wore face masks, according to the new study published in Health Affairs.
Reducing community transmission
According to Dr. Rutherford, when 80% of the population wears masks, it could effectively reduce the spread of COVID-19 compare to a total lockdown. He added that had 95% of people heeded that mandate to wear masks, about 33,000 deaths could have been avoided last October.
Even in communities where very few people wear masks, a person wearing one can greatly reduce the chances of infection.
Type of mask to use
The best type of mask to wear in public is something that would make the wearer comfortable, according to the two doctors. They explained that N95 respirators are needed in medical situations, such as when healthcare workers have to intubate patients. Surgical masks are better. They are also lightweight making them very comfortable to wear. The bottomline: the public should wear face masks made from cotton fabric.
In the new normal, people have to follow the 3 Ws:
- Wear a mask — This is the most effective.
- Watch your distance.
- Wash your hands.
In the mid-November 2020 update of Healthline, experts say that about 130,000 lives could be saved if 95% of the population will wear face masks between November 2020 and March 2021.
The update added that wearing face mask could help businesses open even if the pandemic is still going on because the masks can effectively reduce infection. The CDC says that even a 15% increase in mask wearing could stop the implementation of lockdowns and reduce by up to $1 trillion the U.S. suffers from economic losses.
An infectious disease expert and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Tennessee, Dr. William Schaffner explains that there will still be many people who are opposed to wearing masks, and it take a lot of persistence for people to change their minds. It can be done in the U.S. since other countries such as China, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand have done it.
Seriously, a TOP PRIORITY
Fighting the pandemic is a top priority for the incoming Biden-Harris administration. The medical experts are saying that they should persistently call on Americans to abide by the health requirement of wearing masks. They also recommend working with state and local officials to fight the pandemic by calling on Americans to ‘’step up in the time of crisis.’’