Starting Monday April 27th Harris County issued mandatory all persons over the age of 10 must wear a facemask out in public. Failing to do so could result in a $1,000 fine. Many stores already started executing mandatory masks before entering their stores over the weekend.
Facemasks are now required, but do we really know why? It has been said a mask will not protect you from getting the Coronavirus. So why are we wearing them?
The CDC recommends wearing facemask most importantly in areas where social distancing is more difficult, like grocery stores, pharmacies etc. Specifically, cloth facemask are recommended, so that medical mask and critical supplies can be reserved for healthcare workers and hospitals on the frontline. (If you don’t have a cloth mask you can find many DIY tutorials on how to make your own on cdc.gov).
So what does the mask do? It does a few things; You may have the virus and not know it or experiencing symptoms such as sneezing and coughing even talking can cause micro infected droplets to release into the air lingering for the next person to breathe in through their nose, mouth and possibly into their lungs, and then get infected. Wearing a mask will help contain these droplets.
While a mask doesn’t keep out all airborne particles or make you immune to the virus, if everyone wears a mask there will be a significant reduction in the amount of airborne pathogens being released into the air, possibly saving many lives. Recent studies show that people who are not showing symptoms at all are still able to spread the virus, therefore potentially to someone at higher risk for severe illness.
Wearing a mask is the responsible thing to do, it’s not just for you but it’s also for your family and community around you. As masks are now becoming a social norm, there are many resources out there to get your hands on a mask. Many communities are doing drive through masks giveaways, you can do a DIY mask with an old shirt, or many are selling homemade masks online. Just please, wear a mask!