The importance of wearing a mask, Amy.

Under normal circumstances I am not usually a stickler for health precautions and quite honestly was usually the person who did not care to wash my hands after coming home from the store. Although, as we all know by this point, our world is currently in the midst of a global pandemic (COVID-19 if you have been living under a rock), which has sent my brain into overdrive. I have really stepped up my game in the last 6 months. I ​never ​leave the house without my hand sanitizer now, and have turned into the mom that is always giving out disinfectant wipes and making sure everyone and everything is squeaky clean.

Countless news reports have insisted on how important it is to socially distance, wash our hands and most importantly WEAR A MASK IN PUBLIC. Lately, anti-mask protestors have been popping up on my news feed. One claim a protestor named Amy stated was, “It’s a violation of my freedom, I think, and then also I just don’t think they work.” (​https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/8/7/21357400/anti-mask-protest-rallie... d-19​)

Amy, while I recognize that you do not understand basic healthcare, I also think that you could benefit from learning some informative data on the importance of wearing a mask, so that you can at least keep others around you safe since you do not seem to care about your own wellbeing. This article goes out to you, and many others like you, Amy.

Let’s begin by explaining the science behind wearing a mask.

Surgical masks provide two levels of protection. First, the mask blocks droplets that could potentially carry germs from leaving the mask when someone breathes out. Second, if any droplets do leave the person’s mask, they are blocked from entering the nose or mouth of other people by the masks they are wearing. FDA.gov states, “​If worn properly, a surgical mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays, or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose. Surgical masks may also help reduce exposure of your saliva and respiratory secretions to others.”

(https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infect...)

The vital point in making sure all of this works properly is by making sure you are wearing your mask the right way:

1. Make sure your mask is tight against your cheeks tucked under the bottom of your chin and pinch tightly where it meets your nose.

2. Be sure there is full contact between the top, bottom and sides of the mask with your face.

3. There should be no gaps. Gaps can allow droplets that carry germs to leave and enter your nose and mouth.

4. It may feel hot and stuffy, but that means you are doing it right.

A visual that shows how to wear your mask:

https://insights.omnia-health.com/coronavirus-updates/how-properly-wear-...

Website that further explains how to wear your mask, and backs my list above:

https://www.sfcdcp.org/communicable-disease/healthy-habits/how-to-put-on... -a-face-mask/#:~:text=The%20side%20of%20the%20mask,white%20side%20touches% 20your%20face​.

Next, I am going to share with you what Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, division director of infectious diseases at UAB expressed about why wearing a mask is ​so ​important. Dr. Marrazzo states during a speech at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, “Masks protect you​ ​if you’re wearing one from getting exposed to the virus through other people. When we look at how masks have contributed to the control of this pandemic in other communities, it has been really remarkable when you combine the use of masks with physical distancing. We know that we can shut down the community transmission of this virus. We have shown in several places that have either never experienced big outbreaks or places that have conquered really scary outbreaks, such as Italy or New York City.” (​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRf9sbplk5E​)

To further support Dr. Marrazzo’s statement, sciencedaily.com states that “a study by a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor has found that not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the COVID-19 virus."

(​https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200612172200.htm)​

2020 is the year that science married compassion and respect for All.

“Ultimately, the greatest lesson that COVID-19 can teach humanity is that we are all in this together.” - Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Do your part! Please, do your part?