Do we still Need to Wear Facemasks?
There have been loads of controversies and series of research on wearing face masks. While some people think that mask-wearing is vital in preventing the transmission of the virus, others think that it is unnecessary. Various studies have shown that wearing masks does not only protect others from the spread of COVID-19 but may limit the amount of virus that gets through to the wearer. This reduces their chances of falling ill. Before now, scientists believed that the main benefit of wearing a mask is to protect other people.
There are also speculations that mask-wearing may be one of the reasons there have been more cases of mild and asymptomatic illness. Let’s talk about all these in detail.
How Do Masks Protect Other People?
COVID-19 spreads through the virus-infected droplets that people release when they speak, cough, or breathe. If the droplets land in the mouth or nose of others, it may make them sick. Inhaling the droplets from the air may also make them sick. Masks are effective at preventing such droplets from having contact with the nose and mouth of others. While cloth masks block about 40 to 60 percent of the droplets, N95 masks perform better by blocking 95 percent of even smaller particles, including viruses.
3 Things to Know About Wearing Masks
People who are age 2 and older should wear masks in public places and when they around people who don’t live in their home.
Masks will protect you and those around you. Let’s look at these facts about mask-wearing.
Maintain Social Distancing Notwithstanding
A mask is not a substitute for social distancing. While wearing masks you’re still required to stay at least 6 feet apart from others. Masks are not perfect barriers to transmission, so you should combine mask-wearing with other preventative measures such as social distancing and contact tracing.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after touching or removing your mask. Never touch your mask without washing or sanitizing your hands.
Helping the Economy Recover
Studies have shown that mass wearing of masks could make lockdowns unnecessary. This will undeniably boost the economy of any country. Lockdowns can bring economies to a halt. During the last lockdown in America, more than 44 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. The widespread use of face masks can slow the growth rate of virus cases.
Debunking Some Coronavirus Myths
Myth 1: Mask-Wearing Causes a Dangerous Build-up of Carbon Dioxide
Wearing a mask is undeniably a safe practice, and it doesn`t cause the build-up of carbon dioxide, even after wearing it for an extended period. Unlike viral loads, CO2 particles are extremely small and can pass through masks. That’s even the case for a higher protection mask like an N95.
Myth 2: It Takes 10 minutes of Being with an Infected Person to Catch the Virus
Some people claim that one can get infected with coronavirus when they are within six feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs for at least 10 minutes. This is only a myth. A number of have contracted the virus during shorter interactions. Some others even got infected within seconds by touching contaminated surfaces.
Myth 3: Coronavirus Can only Kill the Elderly
Although the coronavirus mortality rate increases with age, it doesn`t eliminate the fact that people of all ages can contract the coronavirus and lose their lives as a result if they don`t get the required medical attention, or if it`s severe. Older people seem more affected because of the state of their immune system, as well as the presence of other health conditions. There are other categories of people who are more vulnerable to coronavirus than others — healthcare workers, their family members, and caregivers of infected people, without age restrictions.
Myth 4: One Can Wear Masks Made from Any Material
One of the most important considerations before choosing a face mask is comfort. N95 respirators are required in medical situations, while surgical masks are generally more protective than cloth masks. They are also lighter and more comfortable to wear. Be sure to wear comfortable masks that cover the nose and mouth. You`re advised to wear masks that have at least two layers of fabric and cover your nose and mouth without large gaps. Your mask should also have ear loops or ties so you can adjust it. People who wear glasses are advised to wear masks with a bendable border at the top so they can mold the mask to fit the bridge of their nose and prevent their glasses from fogging.
Myth 5: People who Don’t Have Symptoms Can`t Spread the Virus
Not everyone who is infected with the coronavirus has symptoms. Studies show that one-third of 565 Japanese citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan, China in February tested positive for coronavirus without any symptoms. Being asymptomatic may sound like good news for infected persons, but definitely not for public health because such people can spread the virus to others.
Some Coronavirus Facts
- In addition to protecting the wearer, mask-wearing also protect those around us.
- A lower viral dose of the coronavirus is linked to less severe illness.
- Universal mask-wearing has played a vital role in the slow transmission of coronavirus.
- Your facemask should be made with fabric that doesn’t allow droplets to pass through.
- Your facemask should allow you to breathe properly.
- People have used facemasks for hundreds of years. The first pictures of people wearing masks are from the early modern age where doctors were treating patients from the bubonic plague.
- Your mask should fit snugly over your nose, mouth, and chin.
- Hand wash your facemask in detergent and allow it to fully dry by either using a heated dryer or laying it flat in the sunshine.
- Damp facemasks can easily build up germs and become contaminated.
- Get vaccinated for coronavirus can drastically reduce your chance of getting infected.
- Cover your nose and mouth with handkerchief or tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of it immediately. In situations where there is no tissue or handkerchief, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
How to Prevent Coronavirus
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Stay at least six feet away from people.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Stay out of large crowds.
- Eat well and get adequate rest.
Now that you Know…
As vital as mask-wearing is, it may not definitively guarantee that you won’t contract or transmit coronavirus. What mask-wearing will do is reduce your likelihood of spreading the virus to others. It will provide some protection for you. So basically, mask-wearing is a simple step you can take to help fight the spread of coronavirus in your community and protect high-risk individuals from contracting the virus.
While we still try to convince adults to wear their facemasks, we also need to carry the younger generation along. Getting children to wear masks can require quite an effort. Telling them the importance of mask-wearing is not enough; you should also wear your facemask to serve as an example they can emulate. What`s more? You should also teach them to wear their masks correctly.