Covid-19 continues to rage across the planet, yet some people are still hotly debating about whether or not to wear a face mask and if they’re at all effective. With tempers rising, some concerned citizens have taken to posting photos online and giving others darn good reasons why you should wear a mask.
From guards who wear masks half the day to 95-year-old grandparents who don’t complain about having a hard time breathing, these people are doing their part in slowing down the spread of the coronavirus. Scroll down, have a look, and upvote your fave reasons why there’s no excuse not to wear a mask.
Bored Panda reached out to Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, and spoke to him about mask-wearing, how safe it is, and which groups of people tend to wear masks more. Scroll down to read his insights.
"I have seen more mask wearing (probably around 80%) in general in Northern California where I live and work as we have recently surged in COVID-19 cases in California and in the US. However, mask wearing still has a lot of regional variation in the USA, depending, unfortunately, on political affiliation," Dr. Chin-Hong told us.
"More Democrats wear masks compared with Republicans based on a recent poll here," he stressed that some Americans see masks as an affront to personal freedom.
"This is because of the powerful metaphor that some of our national leaders have presented by not wearing them consistently, and even demonizing masking. It is astonishing—and sad—that masks, a tried a true public health and medical intervention has become politicized. It is also interesting to know from data and personal observation that men wear masks less frequently than women and it gives us an opportunity to try to understand more."
We also wanted to double-check if there aren't any downsides to wearing masks for extended amounts of time. "There is absolutely no medical reason not to wear a mask for an extended period of time. In the health care setting, we have donned masks for extended periods long before COVID-19. When your surgeon operates on you, she or he and the staff in the operating room wear them for hours with no problem," Dr. Chin-Hong said.
"If there was a problem with too much carbon dioxide, do you think the team will be alert enough to operate on your body? We have also used masks on many patients with lung disease such as cystic fibrosis with no problems. The only reasons not to wear a mask to protect yourself and your community is if you don’t have a nose or a mouth."
He continued: "For general community use, fit is more important than mask type just like trying on a pair of jeans. If you feel claustrophobic wearing a traditional mask or if others need to see your facial expressions (e.g., for the hearing impaired) you can try a face shield or a transparent mask. Don’t give up finding the right fit. Plus they come in cool designs now too!"
According to the expert, surgical masks should be changed once every day. "An alternative is to keep a stash of 5-7 and 'quarantine' the masks that you are not using (each in a paper bag) as long as they are structurally sound. Keep the clean side clean at all times (the part next to your nose and mouth) and handle the mask by the ear fasteners if at all possible. If you have a cloth mask, you can wash it regularly in warm or hot water. You can just wipe down a face shield daily."
Wearing masks is becoming compulsory in some countries again. For example, France has made wearing masks in all indoor public spaces mandatory from Monday, July 20, and plans to fine anyone refusing to wear one 135 euros (that’s nearly 155 dollars). Some countries are thinking of following suit.
However, there’s some good news, too! The Guardian reports that Oxford University and a Chinese team have both reported that they provoked immune responses to the coronavirus in vaccine trials. There’s still a long way to go yet but there are hopes that a working vaccine could be developed by the start of 2021.
But hold your horses because even if the vaccine could be created so quickly, it would still take a long time to make it available to everyone worldwide. So let’s be cautiously optimistic.
Let’s hop back to mask-wearing. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone cover their faces with cloth in public, with some exceptions. The CDC points out that children younger than 2 years old shouldn’t wear “cloth face coverings,” nor should anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
Johns Hopkins University states that there are 14.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections worldwide; 3.83 million of these are in the United States, according to the latest numbers.
I guard a marijuana shop 12 hours a day 5 days a week standing outside in all this gear. You can put on a mask for 10 minutes.