Wearing Masks – During the COVID-19 pandemic
Reminding people that “masks save lives” isn’t just good advice, It’s a proven scientific fact. Wearing mask in public can help to slow the spread of COVID- 19.
By now we all know that this disease spreads at a rapid pace, wearing masks can slow the spread down by reducing the rate of cross–contamination.
When a person who is infected coughs, sneezes or does anything to release germs into the air which can infect others who are nearby. Wearing mask can protect you as the wearer from contracting any airborne germs.
We all know that masks can be uncomfortable, overwhelming and annoying. We also know that some people don’t like to feel forced to do anything, especially if it’s the government telling us to do so, but it has been scientifically proven that wearing masks can significantly curb the spread.
However, the CDC, a completely non-partisan health organisation, recommends “people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”
Here some points to take into consideration:
So how does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is spread via wet, large water droplets which carry the virus. They are expelled via an infected person through things like coughing and sneezing. Should you be within 6 feet of someone, these contaminated droplets can land on your eyes, mouth and nose and can infect you as well, hence the social distancing measures.
How do masks help stop the spread of the virus?
If you are infected with COVID-19, masks largely block the droplets from coming into contact with others and potentially infecting them. Also, as a wearing mask you are offering yourself some protection as the amount of virus you are exposed to determine how severe your illness may be as fewer droplets will get through your own mask.
There are several strands of evidence supporting the efficacy of masks.
A study published in Health Affairs, for example, compared the COVID-19 growth rate before and after mask mandates in 15 states and the District of Columbia. It found that mask mandates led to a slowdown in daily COVID-19 growth rate, which became more apparent over time. The first five days after a mandate, the daily growth rate slowed by 0.9 percentage-points compared to the five days prior to the mandate; at three weeks, the daily growth rate had slowed by 2 percentage-points.
With all this being said, why weren’t face masks recommended at the beginning?
At the beginning, experts did not know how quickly this virus would spread and how people could be infecting others without showing any symptoms. It wasn’t known that people could have COVID-19 and not show any symptoms and that this virus can be unknowingly spread.
As these discoveries were found, it led public health groups to do research on face masks and their effects. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now include face masks in their recommendations for slowing the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends cloth face masks for the public and not the surgical and N95 masks needed by health care providers
How should face mask be worn?
The mask should securely cover your face from the bridge of your nose to underneath your chin. It should be comfortable but create a secure cover over your nose and mouth to lessen the risk of droplets being transmitted through these areas.
Best to reduce the need to touch or adjust your mask as this may lessen the effectiveness.
What are the best types of masks?
Not all masks are created equal! Accord CDC to help stop the spread of COVID-19 outside of healthcare settings.
First to talk about N95 respirators, these are only necessary in medical situations such as intubation and healthcare workers and are subject to availability, so best we keep them for the previous reasons. Then we have surgical masks which are generally more protective than cloth masks, and some people say that they are lighter and more comfortable to wear, if you do wear a fabric masks it’s an idea to choose one with multiple layers for more protection.
The goal is to protect ourselves as much as possible and masks that are tighter to the face are a good choice because there are no gaps for the virus to escape or enter. The masks that have a mouldable bridge mount are great as it can be shaped to offer a closer fit and also stops the annoying glasses fog.
So, what about face covering like a scarf or bandana? A fitted face mask simply provides better protection and as movement increases and restrictions ease its more important to ensure the effectiveness of a face mask.
There are many different types of face masks, let’s take a look:
Keep in mind, all face masks must fit snug against the face and cover both the nose and mouth in order to be effective.
With all that being said, physical distancing is the most effective way to reduce spreading – even when we are wearing mask. Understanding how the virus spreads and how we can reduce the risks is imperative to keep our loved ones and community safe.
wind rose co. want to help focus on prevention and creating a plan where we can help keep business and the public safe! Contact us to organise a consultation where we can tailor a reliable, cost effective package to suit your specific needs.