Another Case Showing the Benefits of Wearing a Mask
We have to congratulate the Public health officials in Springfield, Missouri, for keeping their cool when faced with the potentially catastrophic situation. It seems like a miracle that, when two hairstylists started feeling ill and were tested positive for COVID-19, not one of their 140 clients had tested positive.
Feels like they all dodged a bullet, but the question remains-how is this even possible? The most likely answer is the proper use of protective masks, which were mandatory for all the workers and customers in that hair salon. Could it be that this basic act of safety measures prevented this situation from having devastating consequences?
Is There More To It?
It looks like wearing a mask can protect us more than we initially thought. Even when the incubation period ended, all customers remained COVID-19-free. The whole situation has sparked the Springfield-Greene County Health Department into action, and now they are sponsoring a study that will show what prevention measures can protect us the best and in what way. They are looking very closely into what type of protective gear was used in this particular situation, how they were used, and why they were so effective.
And while there’s still no 100% effective way to protect ourselves from the virus, there are many cases that show just how well wearing a mask protects us. Let’s take Wuhan, China, as a perfect example. The people in Wuhan have a culture of wearing masks for years now, and it’s all because of the air pollution in that region. And while at the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic, because they were wearing masks, the spread was less severe than in New York or Italy.
How a Mask Actually Works
Since the beginning of the year, many nations conducted all sorts of different researches that answer this very important question-does wearing a mask really protect us? Whatever the results were, the final conclusions are pretty much the same. Wearing a face covering or a mask prevents respiratory droplets from traveling far into the air. Take note of the word ‘far’ because wearing the mask doesn’t stop those droplets from traveling altogether. This is why wearing a mask is useful only as an addition to social distancing and other safety measures. Even if you wear a mask, but get in contact with the virus, forget to wash your hands, and casually rub your eyes, the mask becomes redundant.
Don’t have any symptoms? Wear a mask!
Everyone needs to understand why wearing a mask is so emphasized by the government. The benefits are twice-fold, and by wearing a mask, you protect both yourself and all others. No matter if you don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, it doesn’t mean you are not infected. Likewise, if you are tested negative today, there are no promises that you won’t be infected next week. If you are sick and tested positive for COVID-19, wearing a mask is mandatory even in your own home and even around your pets. At the same time, keep practicing social distancing and, if possible, isolate yourself in one room.
There are only a few instances in which you are not required to wear a mask. CDC understands there are some situations where covering your face may not be possible, but they have also created acceptable alternatives. For example, people who are hard of hearing depend much on reading from lips for communication. In that case, a clear face covering should do the trick. Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities may find wearing a mask to be stressful, but their health provider can help by offering a suitable advice. Remember, whatever your life situation is, you can find a way to protect it by wearing some version of a face covering.
Bottom line, wearing a mask cannot hurt if you wear it properly, make sure you clean it often and practice other safety measures. Only by following all safety rules properly will you minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.