The Efficacy of Wearing Masks

Chicago – August 3, 2020 

By Emily Yang

Due to the Coronavirus, several people have decided that it is best for them to wear a mask or face shield when going to public places such as the grocery store. However, others are more stubborn or unwilling. There are many precautions that can be taken to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, which include standing six feet away from each other, using hand sanitizer, and social distancing. However, the best possible way to prevent transmitting the virus is to simply wear a mask. In the United States, it’s only recommended that you wear a mask by the Central for Disease Control (CDC), but for the sake of others and yourself, you should consider wearing one when going to public places. Even if you don’t experience any existing symptoms, you still could carry the virus and spread it to others. It may be uncomfortable, but our heroes or health care professionals are experiencing worse conditions in overcrowded hospitals. Further, masks are the new fashion trend, so not wearing one is so last season !

Since the coronavirus affects the respiratory system, it’s important to cover the nose and the mouth. A common misconception is that only covering the mouth is enough. The nose and the mouth should be covered as you inhale and exhale through both. Both are part of the respiratory system. If you are knowingly infected, it’s even more crucial to wear a mask. Cloth masks act as a barrier to prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people. If the person wearing a cloth mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice, there is a great chance that he or she won’t affect others because the virus and or bacteria is trapped within the mask. It is especially vital to have a mask on if space for social distancing is limited. Other masks could have different functions, but it’s still vital to wear one out in public.

Just like finding the perfect pair of shoes, you can have a preference for the kind of mask you want to wear. The three most common masks are surgical masks, N95 masks, and cloth masks. Surgical masks are loose-fitting and filter out large particles in the air. They are disposable and also protect the person wearing the mask from droplets, splashes, or sprays that might contain germs. The N95 mask is known to be more protective than a surgical mask. Not only does it filter out large particles, but it also filters out the smaller particles when the person wearing the mask inhales. As the name displays, the mask blocks 95% of very small particles. Just like the surgical mask, they are disposable as well. Lastly, cloth masks trap droplets that are released when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, or coughs. The CDC recommends cloth face masks for the public as they can be washed and reused.

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