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”).

US CDC

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.