Do I Need To Wear A Mask To Avoid Coronavirus?

Many people feel anxious about going out in public during the coronavirus pandemic. We all want to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 as best we can.

These are the three reported routes for the spread of coronavirus:

Droplet spread – droplets sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs, talks or sneezes.

Contaminated surfaces – People can pick the virus up on their hands and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth (routes through which the virus can enter the body).

Aerosol spreadaerosol spread, is a little more controversial. Recent studies suggest that it is actually possible for an infected person to spread the virus simply by breathing. What we don’t know is how efficiently the virus can spread via this route.

Some countries, like Germany, have made mask wearing mandatory whilst on public transport or at the supermarket. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is recommending that everyone wears a mask or some kind of mouth and nose covering when outside of their homes. In the UK, Sadiq Khan has recently said that facemasks should be worn when in an enclosed space such as the London Underground and when social distancing cannot be guaranteed.

Protecting others
The main reason for people to wear a mask, particularly a non-surgical mask, is to reduce the risk of passing the coronavirus to someone else, especially as many people are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and therefore do not even realise that they are infected and spreading the virus. This is why the government and the CDC are advising people to use masks when they go out. A recent study shows many people test positive for coronavirus before they develop symptoms. Another suggests people may be infectious for over 2 days before symptoms begin.

It is important to remember that all social distancing measures must always be followed closely in order to reduce the risk of infection. This means always staying at least 2 metres from people outside of your household and wash your hands frequently. You should always make sure to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and do not touch your face, nose, eyes and mouth. These measures are crucial in order to stop the spread.
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COVID 19: The Facts