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The New York Instances and Washington Post have now come around to a position I advocated for right here on Medium last week: We must always all be wearing masks. Not just health care workers, however ALL of us. Each time we exit in public.
Why?
Because they work.
Research from the SARS outbreak in 2003 shows that washing palms 10+ instances day by day was 55% effective in stopping virus transmission; wearing a masks was really more effective, reducing transmission by about 68%.
Combining multiple forms of protection — hand washing, mask wearing, gloves, and another layer of outerwear (gowning) — was 91% effective.
Read that again: ninety one% efficient at stopping virus transmission.
COVID-19 and SARS are comparable types of viruses (coronaviruses), and it is smart that what works to cease transmission for one will work to cease transmission of the other.
Masks work, first, because they're a physical barrier to whatever’s using alongside on that air you’re breathing or moving through. Here’s a chart showing the relative barrier effectiveness for numerous supplies:

Secondly, they work because they keep you from touching your face all day long. The mask makes you more self-aware of the truth that you’re not supposed to the touch your face- specifically, your mouth, nostril, and eyes, and the areas round them- and if you happen to accidentally do, you’ll touch the mask, not your skin directly.
Third, the expertise of other international locations who mask show that masks work within the real world. Within the words of Jeremy Howard, researcher and Masks4All activist, explaining a chart in his current Youtube video showing how some international locations have efficiently "flattened the curve" on new infections: "If you have a look at all of the countries which have flat curves, they're international locations where mask-wearing is extraordinarily regular, and NOT wearing a mask in places like public transport could be considered anti-social." He notes that the Czech Republic went from zero masks utilization to 100% in 10 days, and within the process they halted the expansion of new covid-19 cases. The Czechs made their own masks- the federal government didn’t give them out.


Should you still should be persuaded, check out this Chinese study of a local outbreak case on January 22 during the peak Lunar New Year travel season. A sick person on the bus who didn't work together with anybody spread the virus to 7 others, a few of whom were seated a lot more than 6 ft away. Two new passengers caught the virus half-hour after the unique sick person had left the bus. NONE OF THE PEOPLE WEARING MASKS WERE INFECTED. Read the article, it’s very detailed, with a schematic of precisely where people have been sitting on the bus.
So let’s say you’re satisfied, and now you’re thinking of some kind of face covering. What are your options?
First, please don’t purchase masks commercially, if by some miracle you might discover them now. Commercially made PPE must be reserved for medical personnel at this time. Sadly, the scarcity of commercially made PPE, and the dearth of foresight that caused us to be in such a position of shortage, is probably why we initially bought this messaging of "Masks don’t work!" They do, folks just didn’t want you to know it for a while, to avoid a run on masks. Think of the empty shelves in supermarkets across America where rest room paper used to live, and you perceive why.
The simplest thing you can do to mask NOW are to use materials across the house. Get artistic; anything that covers the mouth and nostril and stays in place will work.

While it’s finest if the mask fits well and there aren't any gaps between your face and the outside air, don’t surrender in your homemade masks when you can’t achieve that. Any face covering will keep you from touching the skin round your nostril and mouth directly, which may become crucial mechanism by which masks block virus transmission. If you inadvertently contact your face while you’re wearing a mask, you’ll just touch the mask, not your skin.
You'll be able to try to shape your face covering using pipe cleaners or opened-up rubber-coated paper clips within the part that goes over your nostril to make a tighter match — experiment. An important thing is that you just wash your hands, put in your face covering, and exit of the house protected.

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