There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic will make history. Most of the United States government shut down in attempts to control the spread of the coronavirus. And, as of June 22, 2020, there were 2,275,645 confirmed cases and 119,923 deaths in the United States alone, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). At this point, it’s likely that we either will be (or should be) required to wear cloth masks in public places for the foreseeable future.
Therefore, it’s ideal to shop around the best face mask for different occasions (yes, it’s come to that). While some retailers are carrying cloth masks, brands like Into the AM have great deals (3 for $30), as well as a plethora of patterns, styles, and sizes. Put a positive spin on the COVID-19 pandemic and make a fashion statement with face covers that fit your unique personality.
Plus, considering the likely duration of the pandemic, it’s a great idea to have several face masks to be properly hygienic and safe. If you need more convincing, check out these 5 reasons why it’s crucial to own and wear face masks:
1) The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing face masks
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), studies show that some people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms). Both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people (someone infected, but not yet showing signs) can spread the virus. Due to this evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in all public settings.
It’s important to note that the face masks the CDC recommends for the public are not the same as the surgical masks (the n95 respirators). Surgical masks must be left for health care workers who are basically guaranteed to come into contact with infected patients. It’s also important to note that the World Health Organization (WHO) has the same recommendations regarding masks usage as the CDC.
2) Scientific evidence points to the effectiveness of face masks
All the medical-based research points to face mask’s effectiveness at slowing the spread. A study published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies found that community mask use by “well people” could be beneficial to slow the spread. Two other studies also found that face masks capture a wide range of proteins that are smaller than coronavirus particles. According to Dr. Dweik (from the Cleveland Clinic), this shows that it is reasonable to assume that cloth face masks can capture coronavirus particles.
3) Face masks protect you and others
By wearing a mask, you protect others and encourage others to wear masks to protect you. While Dr. Dweik confirms that homemade cloth masks won’t do a lot to protect the individual from inhaling particles; he notes that evidence does show that masks block our own germs from getting into the air and therefore prevents the spread of COVID-19. Plus, as the Cleveland Clinic notes, “The more people in a given space wearing masks, the less viral particles are making it into the space around them, decreasing exposure and risk.”
4) Face masks reduce further germ spread
Since face masks stop your germs from escaping into the air, wearing a cloth face cover is the best way to keep your germs from getting on surfaces while you’re in public places getting your groceries, visiting the pharmacy, or picking up dinner. This is yet another way of reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Plus, according to Dr. Hamilton with the Cleveland Clinic, face masks can prevent us from touching our faces (especially directly). However, he notes that we should be careful to be washing our hands before adjusting the mask and making sure we fold it in on itself carefully if we have to take it off for any reason so that inside and outside germs stay separated.
5) Face masks remind you to keep your distance
Dr. Hamilton also notes how face masks can aid in social distancing by being a visual reminder to stay away from everyone. Since the CDC emphasizes wearing cloth face masks with social distancing of at least 6-feet to slow the spread, it is always good to have visual reminders to be keeping your distance.
According to a Gallup survey, in April, only 36 percent of adults in the United States wore a face covering when going outside of their home. With nearly all qualified public health officials recommending the use of fabric face masks in public places, it is critical that you have several face masks in preparation for the continued COVID-19 threat .