Masks and COVID-19

Why wear a mask?

Several people I have talked to did not understand why it is important for them to wear a mask while out in public. They had the idea that the mask was to protect themselves and since they were not afraid of getting sick, or were unlikely to get sick, they didn’t see any need to wear a mask.

Based on what we know about COVID-19 so far, the purpose of wearing a mask is to protect other people, not the person wearing the mask. If someone has COVID-19 then whenever they talk, laugh, or clear their throat they will spew virus particles for several feet. However, if the person with COVID-19 is wearing a mask, then the virus particles will not travel nearly as far.

If everyone who got COVID-19 got very sick, then we wouldn’t need to wear masks. The people with the virus would be too sick to go out in public. But many people with COVID-19 do not feel sick. They are not coughing. They don’t have a fever. And they can infect other people.

So you wear a mask to protect other people, not yourself. You wear the mask even if you are feeling well, because you might have COVID-19 and not know it. And if you have COVID-19 without being sick and you don’t wear a mask then you are more likely to give the virus to someone who might die from it.

If I wear a mask then I protect you. If you wear a mask then you protect me. Together we protect each other.


4 thoughts on “Masks and COVID-19”

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