Wearing a mask should protect others from catching an infection. Since, many persons do not know they are infected, now is the time to wear one. This is evidenced by the large numbers of COVID-19 positive asymptomatic individuals in many states from California to Florida. COVID-19 virus does not select someone for infection based on race, creed, gender, religion, or political affiliation. The severity of infection might be determined by the above factors, but not infection itself. So, common sense would dictate that masks will help decrease the spread of virus.
That’s common sense, but now just published on June 26, 2020 in the highly respected journal Science, is a paper by Kimberly Prather et al. entitled “Reducing Transmission of SARS-CoV-2”. This review of recent studies suggests that COVID-19 can be spread by respiratory droplets and aerosols from asymptomatic subjects. Large droplets are usually propelled from a cough or sneeze and fall by gravity, settling within about 8 to 20 feet. Aerosols on the other hand can travel much further, stay airborne for many hours, and because of their smaller size lodge deeper into the lung. The evidence now suggests that 6 feet of social distancing might not be enough when masks are not worn. The authors say that “no masking maximizes exposure, whereas universal masking results in least exposure.”
Masking is necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Masking is best for the community and the most vulnerable and the economy. If your children are afraid of masks then they need to be taught that masks are just a part of today’s necessary wardrobe. One needs to know how to use a mask appropriately, and cover both the nose and mouth. Masks are not chin guards.