Masks aid in decreasing COVID-19’s virality by three pathways .
- Decreasing virus spread by infected individuals. The mask traps virus particles on the inside, preventing the virus particles becoming airborne. Protect others.
- Decreasing new infections by uninfected individuals. The mask prevents airborne virus particles being inhaled from the outside. Protect yourself.
- Limiting hand to face contact. The mask puts a physical barrier between potentially contaminated hands and passages to one’s lungs.
We need to increase these virality-decreasing pathways by encouraging a universal mask-wearing protocol to fight COVID-19.
Credit to Sui Huang’s article COVID-19: Why We Should All Wear Masks
Japan has the strongest mask-wearing culture in the world and one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates
Despite Japan’s large elderly population and early infection, the infection and death rate is one of the lowest in the world. A leading reason for this is Japan’s strong mask-wearing culture lowering the virality of COVID-19 to manageable levels. Japan has only had 1,387 infections, yet being one of the earliest countries to become infected 2. Tokyo Metropolitan Police paper towel mask
The Czech Republic’s mandatory mask laws
Starting on March 18, the Czech Republic made it mandatory to wear a mask while in public. So far there have only been 2,942 COVID-19 confirmed cases and 23 deaths, making it one of the lowest infected countries in Europe. 6 We should keep a close eye on the Czech Republic’s future infection rate relative to its neighbors to show the quantifiable impact of mask-wearing. OVERVIEW: Czech campaign #masks4all.
Let’s promote mask-wearing culture to lower COVID-19 infections.
Anything that prevents aerosolized viruses from being transmitted person-to-person will lower COVID-19’s infection rate 5.
- Wear a mask when outside of your home to avoid lingering aerosolized virus droplets3.
- N95 masks are better than surgical masks, but anything that prevents breathing in moisture particles with viruses helps. 4
- We need hard data that show a direct effect of a strong mask-wearing culture to lower COVID-19 virality. We only have anecdotal research at this point.
- Going in public without a mask in a pandemic is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet. You don’t look cool. People see you and think you don’t value your life.
- Promote research that shows the benefits of wearing masks. Research
- Start promoting universal masks-wearing at the local level. Encourage your neighbors, apartment building, and city government to wear masks.
- Make your own mask. Research shows that homemade masks can be very effective in protecting against viruses.9 Maskbuilders, Tokyo Metropolitan Police paper towel mask