Should I Wear a Mask When out in the Community

Should I wear a mask when out in the community? This has become one of the most asked questions this year, particularly on social media.  As someone with a chronic illness who is more vulnerable to germs and getting a dose of the flu could actually mean a possible ICU visit or death, I decided very quickly that I was going to be wearing a mask whenever I was out in the community. 

I copped a fair bit of flak from complete strangers making comments about “only sick people should be wearing masks in public”, just loud enough for me to hear, but this didn’t deter me. I have survived for years by avoiding going out and protecting myself against any possible germs so that I don’t get sick. A friend told me about this website “My Surgical Buddy” and I found this article on wearing masks. It was so good that the local newspaper published it too.

PROS

  • Decreases droplet spread from asymptomatic carriers
  • Reminds people to not touch their mouth and noses, the two main entry points for the COVID virus.
  • Potentially less chance of inhaling infected droplets coughed into the atmosphere by a carrier. Some studies do show a reduced incidence of transmission of previous respiratory viruses like SARS and influenza. The data is, however, inconclusive, but no work that I am aware of has shown an increase in transmission with mask-wearing.
  • There is strong evidence that the severity of the disease is related to the amount of initial virus that gains entry through your nose and mouth. The public doesn’t have access to high filtration N-95 masks. Still ordinary surgical masks, or over the counter masks, and even homemade masks will reduce the overall dose, and that may prove vital.
  • Wearing a mask is a firm reminder to you and the people around you to keep a safe distance from one another.
  • The Centre For Disease Control in America is getting closer to making this a recommendation.

CONS

  • The biggest argument against this is that in these times of shortage, it will take masks away from those who most need them. This is partly true, but really, the health professionals need are N-95 masks, and you won’t be using those to do your shopping. Reasonable homemade multiple-layer cotton masks are relatively effective. If you are capable, try internet searching, making your own mask.
  • Each mask should only be used for one outing and then discarded.
  • Some believe that increased fiddling with an ill-fitting mask may make the situation worse. I think it will make it less effective but not worse than nothing.
  • The cost could be an issue and, if possible, avoid those retailers who are trying to make big profits from this terrible situation. I believe some outlets are selling them for $12 a mask – EXTORTION!!

Not an easy decision, but I just purchased a dozen at $3 a mask and will not be going anywhere without. Also, when at work, at the hospital, I will only remove my mask to eat or drink.

So, straight from a medical professional to you, here are the FACTS ABOUT WEARING A MASK IN PUBLIC! CLICK for the full article.