The New York Times and Washington Post have now come round to a position I advocated for here on Medium last week: We should always all be wearing masks. Not just health care workers, however ALL of us. Whenever we go out in public.
Because they work.
Research from the SARS outbreak in 2003 shows that washing palms 10+ occasions day by day was fifty five% effective in stopping virus transmission; wearing a mask was actually more efficient, reducing transmission by about 68%.
Combining multiple forms of protection — hand washing, mask wearing, gloves, and one other layer of outerwear (gowning) — was ninety one% effective.
Read that once more: 91% efficient at stopping virus transmission.
COVID-19 and SARS are related types of viruses (coronaviruses), and it is sensible that what works to cease transmission for one will work to cease transmission of the other.
Masks work, first, because they're a physical barrier to no matter’s riding alongside on that air you’re breathing or moving through. Here’s a chart showing the relative barrier effectiveness for numerous supplies:
Secondly, they work because they maintain you from touching your face all day long. The masks makes you more self-aware of the fact that you’re not supposed to touch your face- specifically, your mouth, nostril, and eyes, and the areas around them- and when you by chance do, you’ll contact the mask, not your skin directly.
Third, the experience of other international locations who mask show that masks work in the real world. Within the words of Jeremy Howard, researcher and Masks4All activist, explaining a chart in his recent Youtube video showing how some international locations have efficiently "flattened the curve" on new infections: "For those who take a look at all of the international locations which have flat curves, they're international locations where masks-wearing is extraordinarily normal, and NOT wearing a masks in places like public transport can be considered anti-social." He notes that the Czech Republic went from zero mask usage to 100% in 10 days, and in the process they halted the expansion of new covid-19 cases. The Czechs made their own masks- the government didn’t give them out.
In the event you still should be persuaded, take a look at this Chinese research of an area outbreak case on January 22 through the peak Lunar New Year journey season. A sick person on the bus who did not interact with anybody spread the virus to 7 others, a few of whom were seated much more than 6 ft away. Two new passengers caught the virus 30 minutes after the unique sick individual had left the bus. NONE OF THE PEOPLE WEARING MASKS WERE INFECTED. Read the article, it’s very detailed, with a schematic of exactly the place people have been sitting on the bus.
So let’s say you’re satisfied, and now you’re thinking of some type of face covering. What are your options?
First, please don’t buy masks commercially, if by some miracle you could find them now. Commercially made PPE must be reserved for medical personnel at this time. Unfortunately, the scarcity of commercially made PPE, and the shortage of foresight that caused us to be in such a position of shortage, is probably why we initially bought this messaging of "Masks don’t work!" They do, folks just didn’t want you to realize it for a while, to avoid a run on masks. Think of the empty cabinets in supermarkets throughout America where bathroom paper used to live, and also you understand why.
The simplest thing you can do to masks NOW are to make use of materials across the house. Get creative; anything that covers the mouth and nose and stays in place will work.
While it’s greatest if the mask suits well and there aren't any gaps between your face and the outside air, don’t give up in your homemade masks should you can’t achieve that. Any face covering will keep you from touching the skin around your nose and mouth directly, which might change into a very powerful mechanism by which masks block virus transmission. Should you inadvertently touch your face while you’re wearing a mask, you’ll just touch the masks, not your skin.
You'll be able to try to form your face covering utilizing pipe cleaners or opened-up rubber-coated paper clips within the part that goes over your nose to make a tighter fit — experiment. The most important thing is that you simply wash your hands, put on your face covering, and go out of the house protected.
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