wear a face mask
Posted in COVID19 Risk communication

Why should we wear a face mask?

In my earlier post, I wrote about how and when we should wear a face mask and its two varieties: fabric and medical or surgical masks. This post refers to the most crucial question: Why should we wear a face mask?

I will begin with the World Health Organization’s reasoning. Following is their response to the question with their exact verbatim:

Masks reduce potential exposure risk from an infected person whether they have symptoms or not.

World Health Organisation

This is the primary reason; no one knows, if someone gets the virus in the first few days because it takes 4-5 days to develop symptoms. But, they still can infect others.

There is another reason to wear a mask;

People who wear face masks protect themselves from getting infected.

world health organization

The second reason is that masks can protect someone who is not yet infected with the virus.

However, according to the World Health Organization, masks should be used as part of a comprehensive “do it all” approach; it includes physical distancing, avoiding crowded, closed, and close-contact settings, improving ventilation, cleaning hands, covering sneezes and coughs, and more.

Now, I will cite the exact verbatim of the US CDC for the same question.

Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets (“source control”).

Masks also help reduce inhalation of virus-laden droplets by the wearer (“filtration for personal protection”).


The US CDC further says;

  • Wearing face masks by all is necessary because those infected but unaware that they are infected due to the absence of symptoms account for 50 percent of virus transmissions.
Posted in COVID19 Risk communication

When and how to wear a face mask

Even almost a year after the covid19 pandemic, reminding ourselves when and how to wear a face mask continues to become a life-saving activity.

Wearing a face mask alone is inadequate to combat this pandemic.

However, wearing a face mask is essential to combat this pandemic. This post reminds us of the basic rules of when and how to wear a face mask as recommended by the World Health Organization.

How to wear a medical or surgical mask

  • Wash hands before touching the mask
  • cover nose, mouth, and chin (my emphasis: at all times; it cannot be below the nose! not an easy task)
  • Wash hands after taking off the mask

What type of a mask?

Medical or surgical masks, if you are,

  • over 60
  • have a medical condition
  • feeling unwell
  • looking after an ill family member

Who should wear medical or surgical mask, when and where?

Otherwise, you can wear a fabric mask.

How to wear a fabric mask

How to wear a fabric mask (source: World Health Organization)

What type of fabric?

When and how children should wear a mask