Why are face masks so important?

Charlotte protesters joined other cities by protesting the death of George Ford. Protesters shut down Beatties Ford Rd in front of the CMPD Metro Division. After several hours CMPD brought in riot police to calm the crowd.

Troy Hull

Charlotte protesters joined other cities by protesting the death of George Ford. Protesters shut down Beatties Ford Rd in front of the CMPD Metro Division. After several hours CMPD brought in riot police to calm the crowd.

Lucy Kamlewechi, Staff Reporter

As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases are increasing daily, it continues to pose a great threat to people all over the world.  Recently, people continue to ask if face masks can help reduce the spread of this virus; the answer is yes.  Yes, face masks, along with other preventive measures — like social distancing and regular washing of hands — can help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

WHAT TYPE OF FACE MASK SHOULD YOU USE TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE?

Globally, there are three main types of face masks that people use to protect themselves from the Covid-19 virus.  These are:

  • Surgical mask — a form of personal protective equipment (PPE) that generally fits loosely over the nose and mouth, and protect the wearer against large sneeze droplets and splashes.
  • Respirators, such as N95 or other FFP2/3 forms — they have tangled fibers to filter pathogens in the air, and fit very close to the face.  However, the public should not use these masks as they are in critical supply: only health workers make use of them.
  • cloth face coverings — people make these masks using different fabrics, but cotton fabric is the most suitable.

WHY FACE MASKS ARE IMPORTANT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

Masks may be more effective as a “source control” because they can prevent larger expelled droplets from evaporating into smaller droplets that can travel farther.  Also, surgical masks filter large particles in the air, and protect others by reducing exposure to the saliva and respiratory secretions of the mask wearer who may be infected with the virus.

Furthermore, according to the World Economic Forum (a Non-governmental Organization — NGO — founded in 1971 that is committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas), masks protect us in the following ways:

  • Masks and face coverings can prevent the wearer from transmitting the Covid-19 virus to others and may also provide protection to the wearer.
  • Universal mask use can significantly reduce virus transmission in the community by preventing anyone, including those who are unknowingly carrying the virus, from transmitting it to others.
  • Masks can also reduce the inequitable impact of the pandemic, particularly for those who live in crowded environments where physical distancing is difficult, and for those who work in frontline roles, where there is greater risk of exposure to the virus.

As proven above, face masks are very important in this challenging period. It is true that everyone wants to be safe during this pandemic, but little do they know that the change starts from them.  Only you can determine what you want and do not want: you and no one else.

Some people might give excuses and say that they feel “choked” when they put on face masks.  Others might say that they tend to not breathe well with their face masks on.    Yes, I do agree that face masks are not all that comfortable, but sometimes comfort is not the main priority.  Right now, saving lives is the number one priority, so whatever decision you make should be one that will make a difference now.  Whatever actions you take should be one that will help protect the remaining survivors of Covid-19 and future generations yet to come.

It is not a command, but a plea.  It is a plea to help prevent the further spread of Covid-19 widely.  It is a plea to help save lives; it is a plea to protect yourself and loved ones.  Please wear your face mask: it will help us in this fight.