1. To protect the people around you
The primary way covid spreads is from person to person by droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Face masks, however, can block these droplets! Face coverings act as a barrier to keep the virus-containing particles from escaping and landing on another person.
Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have illustrated just how effective face coverings can be when it comes to reducing the number of droplets that are dispersed into the air as well as the distance they travel. Without a face mask, droplets traveled more than 8 feet. A bandana on the other hand cut the distance to 3 feet, 7 inches, while a folded cotton handkerchief reduced that distance even more, to 1 foot, 3 inches. This definitely shows the importance of wearing a face mask in public.
2. To prevent unknowingly spreading the virus
In the beginning of the pandemic face masks and face covers were recommended only for people who felt sick or knew they had COVID-19, this as a way to protect people around them.
However, when it later became clear that the virus can be transmitted by people before they start showing symptoms and by people who never develop symptoms at all, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broadened its guidelines, urging everyone to wear a cloth face covering in public.
Did you know that some studies have found that over 40 percent of people with coronavirus infections never even develop symptoms of COVID-19? This makes it extremely difficult to detect who is a potential transmitter of the virus. This is also the reason why wearing a face mask, even if you believe you are healthy, is recommended both by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). It's one way to help prevent unknowingly spreading the virus to other people, especially those who are more likely to become severely ill if infected by the coronavirus.
3. To protect yourself
Some studies show that cloth face masks offer some protection for the wearer, but these protective perks are most obvious when everyone covers the nose and mouth. If more people block the transmission of the virus with face coverings, then there will be less virus circulating. Which reduces everyone's risk for infection!
A report published in Health Affairs, found that states with face mask mandates had a greater decline in daily COVID-19 growth rates compared with states that did not issue mandates. These face mask policies may have prevented as many as 450,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S, according to the author.
According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington face masks could save as many as 34,000 lives in the next few months!
4. To help small business open & stay open
The quickest and easiest way to open our economy is to control the virus. As more people are out and about, we need to make sure we keep the virus from spreading.
Recent spikes in coronavirus cases have caused some U.S. communities to pause or even roll back reopening plans. Some have even raised fears that they may need to go back to the lockdowns as we saw back in March and April. As you probably can tell this is very economically damaging so wear a cloth face covering to protect our businesses and help the the economy recover.
5. Because the alternatives are few
Since there currently is no vaccine or more effective drug therapies to treat people who are sick with COVID-19, the preventive measures of hand washing, physical distancing and wearing a mask are the 3 most effective ways when it comes to fighting the coronavirus. On top of this, these are also strategies that are relatively simple to implement!
So what are we waiting for? Let's set a good example and mask up!