How Does Wearing a Face Mask Help Slow the Spread
We’re all being asked to wear a face mask when in public places like stores, banks and restaurants, but how does it really help? The main purpose is to prevent breathing out the virus, but it can also help prevent breathing in the virus.
Let’s start with breathing out. You can be infected with the virus and not have any symptoms. So you don’t know you have it. If you go out in public and cough or sneeze, you can project out respiratory droplets that contain the virus onto other people. It’s possible to project these droplets as far as 6 feet in a single sneeze. If you wear a face mask, this projection is blocked, protecting the people around you. If everyone wears a mask, the chances of spreading these droplets is significantly reduced.
Now about breathing in. The best way to prevent breathing in airborne droplets is with an N95 mask. These face masks have tightly woven fibers that filter the air you breathe. These are what medical professionals wear. This type of face mask is for single use, and it may not be possible for most people to use them every time they go out. While not as protective as an N95 mask, a 2-layer reusable cloth face mask like the ones we offer, is better than nothing.
Besides wearing a face mask, there are other things we should do help prevent the spread. As mentioned earlier, one single sneeze can project droplets 6 feet away. By keeping 6 feet apart, we add a second layer of defense against the sneeze. Think of it as a back up hard drive for your computer. If your main hard rive fails, your data is still protected on the backup drive.
Another thing we all must do is wash our hands regularly. Think of all the things we come into contact with when we’re in a store. When you were a child you may have heard your mother ask, “do you have eyes in your fingers?” It’s natural to want to touch and handle something your considering buying. You may have also used the door handle and pushed the shopping cart. Using hand sanitizer while in the store and washing your hands when you get home are critical to slowing the spread.
If we all work together and observe these simple things, we can help stop the spread. Here is a link to the CDC web site for more information. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
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