Why we should be wearing face mask in 2020

With many countries embarking on loosening of restrictions, to encourage a return to some 'normal' life so that businesses can commence its recovery process, there is a question of whether such loosening of restrictions should be complemented with the use of face mask. On 5 June 2020, WHO announced a change in its recommendation to include the use of face mask as a comprehensive package for the control of the coronavirus spread.

More than 50 countries require people to cover their face when they leave their home. Some countries that have mandated the use of face masks when in public are Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Turkey, Israel, Germany, France, Spain, Pakistan and the United States and most recently England has mandated its use when on public transports.

 

Understanding how the virus spreads is probably the key to explain why using face mask could control the spread.

When the virus takes hold of a person's system, the virus starts replicating in the body and soon, the bodily fluids in the mouth, lungs and nose will be infected with the virus particles. An asymptomatic person can spread this virus particle even while talking to another person. So imagine when an infected person coughs and this coughs contains 3000 droplets where the heavier droplets will settle on the surfaces while the lighter droplets will be suspended in the air for hours. So imagine walking into a shopping aisle where an infected person had coughed and one could be exposed to this virus just like that.

If everyone wore a face mask in public, it would  be effective to some extent in controlling the spread of this virus. The wearing of the face mask is for the protection of the other person more so then for the protection of oneself from the virus.

Wearing Face mask is the new norm. If it is not, it should be the new norm until we find a vaccine that can keep us safe from the recent outbreak of a new coronavirus pandemic.