Coronavirus cases continue to climb in many countries around the world. That means there are still people not following one of the most effective and simplest ways to contain the spread of disease, wearing a face mask. Health professionals plea to the public to wear face masks at all times as much as possible. Recent studies show that wearing a face-covering is a powerful tool that can help alleviate the spread of the virus, which has affected 99.5 million lives around the world.
Who Should Wear a Face Mask?
According to health experts, to slow the spread of COVID-19, they recommend all people, including healthy kids, to wear a mask at all times. With an exception for children under the age of two, people who have difficulty in breathing and those that are unable to remove their mask without the help of others. The World Health Organization recommends wearing a cloth or fabric mask for general use. You may also use medical-grade surgical masks or an N95 respirator. These are personal protective equipment that is designed to fit close to your face and give extensive protection from harmful particles in the air that you breathe.
Reasons Why You Should Wear a Mask
We have seen how the Coronavirus spread like wildfire in many countries and states, but only a few countries managed to isolate their cases. One secret in their success is coordination and wearing a mask. Here are four reasons why it is essential to wear a mask and who should wear one.
Protect You and Other People
One of the most contagious ways to spread the virus from one person to another is by tiny droplets produced when a suspected person carrying the virus coughs, sneeze or talks. To avoid this, wearing a face mask can block these droplets from getting inhaled or dropping to your skin or face. They act as your shield to keep virus particles from coming into you from an infected individual.
A simulation made by some researchers illustrates how effective a face mask can be in reducing tiny droplets into the thin air and the distance it can reach. According to the result, if a person does not wear a mask and sneeze, the droplets can travel up to 8 feet. A study made recently shows how powerful face coverings can be. They found out that countries and states that mandate their people to wear a face mask had a significant drop in daily COVID-19 growth rates compared to some areas that did not impose the use of face masks. In the early stage of the pandemic, if only people strictly followed the use of face masks and countries have been strict about it, it may have prevented as many Coronavirus cases in the world. Various health agencies also predict that wearing one could save thousands of lives in the next few months.
Prevent Asymptomatic Spread
According to the Center for Disease Control or CDC, they estimated that 50% of the transmission happens before a person develops the symptoms of the COVID-19. Wearing a face mask is an easy way to lessen the risk of not knowing that you are already spreading the virus. It is good that people wear a mask. However, people should not forget other methods to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. People should also need to observe social distancing and practice good hand hygiene.
It is also worth remembering that not all face coverings would totally prevent you from getting the virus. Only medical-grade masks provide that level of protection. However, people should still wear one as it prevents you and other people from infecting others when you can be asymptomatic, giving you an idea to practice social distancing and practice good hygiene.
Even before the pandemic started, medical professionals such as surgeons and dentists wear a face mask to protect themselves from any droplets that may come out from the patient’s mouth or any contagious illness that can spread through the air. In some cultures, like in Asian countries, wearing a mask is automatic when one is ill or has an underlying sickness as a sign of respect to their fellow citizen.
Researchers note that face masks are most effective when it is a collective effort from one country. That is why some countries like South Korea and Taiwan were able to contain the spread of the virus and lessen the number of deaths in their country. Wearing a face mask is normal. However, do not forget to do other precautionary methods such as washing your hands and practice social distancing, especially when you are in a high-risk environment.
The Best Alternative
Since Coronavirus is new, there is an absence of a vaccine available to treat people who attracted the virus. However, there are three things that you can do to fight the Coronavirus. These are regularly washing your hands, observing strict physical distancing, and wearing a mask in the general public. What’s good about them is that they are cheap and can be acquired in the supermarket near you.
The effort is minimal compared to the benefit it could bring to everyone’s life. It is the simplest and most effective way to be protected, given its degree of benefits. If only people stayed six feet apart from each other, frequently washed their hands with proper etiquette, and wore a face mask in public, especially at times when social distancing is hard or possible to implement. Things would be better and a lot manageable today.
We are all in this fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. It is vital that everyone must follow strict guidelines imposed by their local government. If there is none, take the initiative to follow and step-up against this global war. For those states and countries that have strict guidelines, it is helpful that we continue to practice safe social distancing, proper handwashing, wearing a mask at all times, and do other recommendations to protect ourselves and others. It is up to us when this deadly virus can be put to an end.