Should The Public Start To ‘Mask Up’?
Before we tackle the topic of wearing a mask in public, let me just say you shouldn't be going out in public in the first place. Social distancing guidelines are in place until at least the end of April and could extend longer. But, if you're like me and work in an essential field, or if your the family member that makes your grocery trips, should you be wearing a mask?
First thing's first. When I say mask I mean something OTHER than what is made for medical professionals. Do not go out and buy up a supply of N95 masks. They are desperately needed in the medical field. If you have any, please consider donating them to a local hospital. Many people have gotten crafty and creative and fashioned their own masks out of a variety of different materials. These homemade items are more than OK to be used in public. But just be aware of what you're wearing a mask for.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or coming into contact with an infected surface and then touching your face or eyes. There is also some evidence that says it may also be transmitted by smaller airborne droplets in certain situations. Wearing a homemade mask will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19. But if you have the virus and don't know it, or are asymptomatic, it could slow your transmission of the disease.
The bottom line is that masks should be considered another tool in helping us flatten the curve. But they should NOT replace social distancing OR the washing of your hands and using hand sanitizer.