Half of the US population is not wearing masks anymore.
People throughout the country are removing their masks: in offices, stores, planes, and buses. But the question remains: will continuing to wear a mask help lower your risk for Covid-19 even if others around you are not wearing them anymore?
You are not alone if you are experiencing ‘mask exhaustion.’ But there are excellent reasons to keep on wearing masks in public. Let us tell you about them.
Good reasons to keep wearing your mask
- Masks work. It is not a thumb-suck. It is science! One study found that masks reduce your risk of getting Covid-19 by over 80%. Even a crude cloth covering is better than nothing as it can significantly protect against infections. Researchers estimate that thousands of lives could have been saved if Americans wore their masks consistently in public between October 2020 and February 2021.
- Vaccines don’t eliminate the need for masks.Most vaccines have proven to be highly effective in protecting people against Covid 19, but it does not necessarily make people less likely to transmit You must still wear your mask.
- Masks help against other respiratory viruses, too.
Is there any objective evidence that masks help?
Yes, there are several strands of evidence.
- Studies on respiratory droplets and the ability of masks to block them showed that hundreds of droplets are generated when a person says just one simple phrase. All of these are blocked by something as preliminary as a damp washcloth.
- Another study compared the Covid-19 growth rate before and after masking mandates were introduced. It found that masks definitely slowed the Covid-19 growth rate, and over three weeks, it reached more than 2%. The best benefit of masks is that people who have Covid can’t give it to other people.
- A research study examining coronavirus deaths in just under 200 countries found that countries with mandates for mask-wearing had lower death rates.
Does the type of mask matter?
Just wear one!
The best type of mask you can wear is one that fits comfortably and it is one you can wear consistently. Some swear by N95 masks, but they are only essential in medical situations.
Surgical masks are great, as they are generally more protective than cloth masks. They are also lighter and more comfortable to wear. Our advice? Any mask that covers the nose and mouth will be of benefit. It is all about risk reduction.
(The military-grade carbon filter 4-ply masks by the Refreshed Traveler are spot-on!)
For some, the widespread of masks had been liberating. With your mask, you don’t have to worry about spinach in your teeth. You can grimace in the gym, forget lipstick, or sing softly in the grocery store – no one is the wiser.
Others find the constant use of masks irritating. However, there are some enduring benefits in still wearing your mask, even if restrictions have been lifted. Perhaps – after all, it will become a way of life for some. It is a choice and not necessarily a bad one.