Masks were something people only associated with doctors who wore them during their surgeries. Now, since 2020 March, masks have become an integral part of everyone’s lives! While masks are not perfect barriers to virus transmission, they are effective when combined with other public health measures like social distancing washing hands regularly, and avoidinglarge gatherings. When all these measures are implemented at a community level, it can be quite effective at decelerating transmission and decreasing infections. Masks can also lessen the inequitable impact of the pandemic, mostly for people living in crowded environments where social distancing can be a little difficult.
Most people view wearing face masks as restricting their freedom, but it is anything but that! Rather, it helps you to regain freedom by decreasing virus transmission in a community, making every interaction safer. Freedom for people to attend school, work, interact with others, and essentially freedom from fear and illness. If you need more reasons as to why you ought to wear masks, read on.
1. Face Masks reduce viral transmission (if worn properly)
Cloth coverings and surgical masks can decrease viral transmission by 70% if everyone wears them and wears them properly covering their nose and mouth. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), waering amask right means washing your hands before wearing your face masks, making sure it covers both your nose and mouth in place. It also needs to fit snugly against your face and stay there until you come home. So, when everyone starts wearing their masks, there is a huge possibility of witnessing a massive dip in the number of cases worldwide. It is also being advised to layer masks for better protection. Hence, wearing one cloth mask and one surgical mask can be a good idea while making sure you are able to breathe properly.
2. Masks stop the asymptomatic spread
According to the CDC, approximately 50% of transmission happens before people develop any of the COVID-19 symptoms. Hence, wearing a mask is a simple way to reduce the risk of unintentionally spreading the infection. That being said, it’s not a remedy; people also need to observe social distancing rules and follow good hand hygiene. It is also worth noting that most cloth face coverings alone won’t completely stop you from contracting the novel virus. Only an N95 design reserved for medical professionals can provide that level of protection. Instead, face masks stop the wearer from infecting others when asymptomatic, making it just as significant a precaution as social distancing and washing hands. Talk to your health practitioner if you have any questions on using a particular mask, and choose the best one for you.
3. You’re protecting others from illness with a face mask
Researchers have noted that mask-wearing is most effective when it is a communal effort. Reflect over the number of people who have died and how it could have been predicted had everyone followed the norm of wearing masks along with other precautions. Protecting your family, friends, and neighbors is a responsibility everyone in this world carries. Not wearing a mask and exposing yourself to the public, where contracting the virus is high. This is why by wearing a mask, you are in a way protecting your people.
4. Masks are good hygiene in general
Medical professionals, right from surgeons to dentists, were wearing masks to guard themselves against germs, illness, and droplets as well as to prevent their own germs from spreading, even before the pandemic. In many cultures, wearing a mask when one has allergies or is ill means showing respect to others. Donning a face mask to protect yourself is normal, and merely good hygiene in a high-risk situation.
5. Masks can protect you too
A few studies have suggested that cloth face masks give some protection for the wearer, but the safety perks are most obvious when everyone covers the nose and mouth. Think of it like a collective benefit: The more people stop the transmission of the virus through face coverings, the less virus there is circulating in your community. This lessens everyone’s risk for infection. If that chain is cut anywhere, then the virus can no longer propagate or be transmitted. So whether you are on the side of the transmitter or the receiver of viral transmission, if you can block the circulation of the virus on either end of the chain, then everyone will benefit from that.
6. Masks may help the economy recover
Masks could play a role in economic boon too. A recent report found that usage of face masks could serve as a substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise deduct nearly 5 percent from GDP (gross domestic product). Recent spikes in the number of covid cases have caused the countries to shut down again and extend lockdowns. This is hugely affecting the economy as lives have been lost, and few companies have shut down. However, the extensive use of face masks could considerably slow the growth rate of virus cases, which could hit 100,000 per day if outbreaks aren’t controlled. And reducing the rate of new cases would prevent a hit to the economy.
7. There are few alternatives
When it comes to COVID, there are very few alternatives to consider. Other than a vaccine, social distancing, and staying at home as much as possible, there isn’t a lot one can do to prevent it. The best and least step to take at times like this is wearing a mask along with social distancing and washing hands. What’s more, these are low-cost tactics that are relatively simple to follow.
8. Face Masks for Kids
While the second wave is still on, it has shown that kids can be affected like adults. This gives everyone enough reasons to continue wearing masks. Kids, as it is known, have weaker immunity than adults. They need to be protected at all costs. It is advisable to buy a face mask for kids, specially designed to fit their faces.
9. For healthcare workers and first responders
If you have watched the news, then you will know how many doctors, healthcare providers, frontlinworkers are fighting to save thousands of patients from Covid. Here is how you can help them – wear a mask. Even if you never come into contact with a hospital worker, your mask shows them you care. You are basically keeping them safe by restricting the spread of illness in your community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has restructured everyone’s life. Many of you are staying home, avoiding people on the street, and also changing daily habits, like going to work or school or work, in ways you might have never imagined. While you are changing old behaviors, there are new routines to be adopted. Foremost is the custom of wearing a face mask whenever you are in a public space. This is to protect yourself, the people around and you, especially your family!