The Face Mask Debate: A Doctor's Recommendation
If you’re confused about the ever-evolving debate on face masks, you’re not alone. We’ll break down why, and how, to wear and make one.
What Does the CDC Recommend?
Recent studies have shown that some individuals with COVID-19 may not experience symptoms and even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing or sneezing—even if those people appear perfectly healthy.
This new evidence is why the CDC recently recommended wearing masks and face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies. It is important to note that wearing a mask does not necessarily protect you from COVID-19, but it does help significantly reduce the likelihood that you will spread the virus to others.
In addition to social distancing, maintaining six feet between yourself and others, wearing a mask can help slow the spread of COVID-19.
What About at Home?
If you and the other members of your household have been limiting your exposure to others and do not currently have symptoms, then you do not have to wear a mask while in your own home. However, if you believe that you or someone else has come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of the virus, it is strongly recommended to wear a mask, start self-quarantining and move the sick person into isolation.
Who Shouldn’t Wear a Mask?
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
It’s important to note that the cloth face coverings recommended by the CDC are not surgical masks or N95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
I Don’t Have a Mask. Can I Make One?
Yes! There are multiple ways to fashion your own cloth face covering. You can find a helpful guide to create your own on the CDC website.
For more expert tips on how to stay safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19 click here.