Take a trip to your local grocery store and you will likely find at least half of your fellow shoppers are wearing protective masks and/or gloves amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The prevalence of protective masks has surprised most Americans as the United States government insists there is no need for healthy, coronavirus-free individuals to wear a protective mask in public settings.
However, those who dig through the news, especially news posted to the web, will find other governments across the globe advise their citizens to don protective masks when away from home. In fact, it was announced earlier this morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) might pivot from its current stance and advise the populace to wear protective masks in public settings until the coronavirus outbreak reaches an end.
Use Common Sense
Sadly, the day has come when we cannot trust the federal government’s advice. It appears as though federal officials recommended against the use of protective masks in public due to our nation’s egregious shortage of these essential protective facial barriers. If the majority of Americans were to buy a mask, there would be precious few, if any, remaining for our essential medical personnel. However, it does not make sense to walk through a store or other public place without mask protection.
Use your mind’s eye to envision yourself strolling through the narrow aisles of your local supermarket. A sickly person directly in front of you lets out a gigantic sneeze, sending saliva, mucous and other nasty particles that might contain COVID-19 upwards of 27 feet. You quickly do an about-face yet you are certain some of the sneeze particles entered your nostrils, contacted your eyes or settled on your lips. Now, imagine if you were wearing a N95 protective mask at the time of such an unfortunate event. The mask would have served as a robust barrier against the sneeze particles, ensuring the virus did not contact your nose, mouth or other parts of your face.
Though the chances of someone sneezing directly in front of you in public are fairly slim, there is a good chance you will walk in the pathway of another person’s cough, yawn, laugh or speech at some point in the coming weeks and months. What sense is there unnecessarily exposing your nose, mouth and other parts of your face to coronavirus when you could shield these orifices from the virus with a protective mask? This line of thinking is common sense to most people, yet the United States federal government steadfastly insists there is no need to don a protective mask in public.
The Top Chinese Scientists Insist Masks Protect Against COVID-19
It is often said the best and quickest way to learn something is to ask an individual in-the-know. This axiom certainly applies to the prudence of mask-wearing amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Though Chinese scientists rarely make statements to media members outside of China, the director-general of the country’s Disease Control and Prevention, George Gao, recently responded to an interview request from Science.
Aside from stressing the importance of social distancing, Gao insists the United States government made a monumental error by advising its citizens to venture out in public without a protective mask. After all, COVID-19 is transmitted by way of droplets and through close contact. Such droplets move out of the mouth during speech, sneezing, coughing and even yawning. Furthermore, coronavirus carriers might be asymptomatic, meaning they have no idea they are infected with the virus and unwittingly spread it through carefree social interactions.
Gao went on to reinforce the importance of isolating those who test positive for coronavirus. However, his prime point of emphasis is the simple act of donning a mask when venturing outside of the house would minimize the spread of the virus, ultimately reducing the need to quarantine individuals for upwards of two weeks or longer.