The issue of wearing face coverings in public comes up quite often. Some people may ask, “If I am not personally at high risk for COVID-19, why should I wear a mask?”. Perhaps this is why we see so many people in public places who are not covering their nose and mouth.
We get it. Wearing a mask for an extended period of time can become uncomfortable and annoying. We have endured several months since we have been affected by the pandemic in the US. It seems like things are not going to change any time soon.
Wearing cloth face coverings is important in public settings where socially distancing is hard to do, this is especially important for limiting community based transmission.
By each doing our part to limit the spread we can #flattenthecurve
Adapted from the CDC guidelines:
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
-Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
The reason for this is that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread even before symptoms appear, by such things as coughing, sneezing, or even speaking at close range. Cloth face coverings have been recommended due to their affordability & availability. By using cloth face coverings, it preserves surgical masks and N-95 masks for healthcare workers who may be involved in direct care of patients with COVID-19.
The following graphic clearly shows how important it is to wear a face mask:
If I wear my face covering to protect you from me, and you wear your face covering to protect me from you, then we can all dramatically decrease our risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Wearing a mask + social distancing + frequent hand washing/ use of hand sanitizer all contribute to limiting the spread of COVID-19 as we return to our usual activities.