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The significance of wearing the Mask
Canada is now open again, and wearing a mask when using public transportation and in public spaces is now obligatory in some provinces.
In the beginning, there was there was the World Health Organization (WHO) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, the Public Health Agency of Canada and various provinces and territories stated that masks shouldn’t be used in public. But as the spread of disease was increasing, their opinions changed. In May the suggestion was made that everyone wears masks when needed. Since July Ontario, the province of Quebec along with some parts of Ontario mandated the use of masks in public areas that are enclosed.
Many people are wondering: as guidelines continue to evolve during the pandemic, what’s changed? Why should I wear the mask? What are the advantages of wearing a mask when you go out in public ? And what is the reason why it’s now compulsory?
Does it make sense for Measures to Adapt?
COVID-19 was an uncharted area a couple of months ago. Medical and scientific communities were confronted with a global epidemic caused by a unidentified virus that needed to quickly learn how to keep the public safe.
The situation is complicated and the recommendations are constantly being revised as we discover more about the disease. Being flexible when it comes to our thoughts is positive idea. The guidelines that we change will make us safer and more secure, based on the findings of science and have confirmed to be accurate. The guidelines need to evolve to reflect the latest information and the consensus of science.
As with everything that is new, there’s an learning curve. We initially believed that those with no symptoms would not transmit the virus. This was based on our experiences with similar virus. As time passed, we realized this was not the case in fact, those with no symptoms were able to transmit the virus. This implies that even when one isn’t breathing or coughing, they could spread the virus to other people. We refer to this as “asymptomatic transmittance”.
A report by The University of Ulm in Germany examined the proportion of suspected transmission among undiagnosed and possibly asymptomatic individuals as well as the proportion of cases with no or very mild symptoms. The estimates varied between 42.5 79% to 42.5 from studies looking at the transmission of HIV in Italy as well as China. These results suggest that even if you’re feeling good you could be carrying the virus and contribute to the spread of the virus to other people. Individuals with only minimal symptoms might not consider themselves to be infected and dismiss the symptoms as simply due to being tired or having trouble sleeping in the previous night.
In the early days of the epidemic, one of the recommendations did not include wearing a mask because we weren’t conscious of the significance of minimally symptomatic as well as asymptomatic transmission. The reason for this message is also founded on the shortage of protective gear for personal use. Health professionals needed access to these items to ensure the safety of their patients as well as themselves. Because it was unclear at the time what severity the situation could get the situation would become, it was decided that masks should be reserved for health workers as well as those working on frontlines.
Why should you wear Masks? Mask in public Spaces?
Have you ever visited the hospital or walk-in clinic and saw masks inside it? The sign that is next to it usually requires to wear a mask when you’re experiencing coughing or other common respiratory symptoms. This measure of safety is intended to lower the risk that you’ll transmit the infection you’re suffering with to people who seek treatment.
Since we know that infections are caused by liquid droplets released by breathing, speaking or coughing when individuals are near one another, this implies that everyone can spread the infection to someone who is around them without being aware of that they are infected. Masks serve as a physical barrier that blocks droplets from getting to people close to you. Also you keep your germs and viruses, from being spread to others.
In the process of returning to a “regular” routine as they return to their normal routines, it becomes harder to observe precautions for public health, such as maintaining a distance of 2 meters. If everyone wears a face mask and a mask, the chance of being exposed to droplets of an infected person you come into close contact with are significantly decreased. This measure of safety is particularly essential in indoor environments, in which we’ve come to discover that it’s easier to inhale other people’s droplets. In the outdoors, droplets are quickly swept away by the air. It is important to be especially cautious inside.
The German paper also showed that the frequency for new infections was much lower in countries with the vast majority of individuals were wearing masks, in contrast to other countries that did not require it. The study found that in Hong Kong, where 96 percent of people use masks, the rate was 129 cases for a million residents in March. This is a total of 129 people who suffered from COVID-19, out of 1 million. In Italy also, at that time and when masks were not used, the rate was 2983 per million people.
Masks are not just for show. It is not only about stats It’s also a sign of solidarity in order to safeguard other people.
Consider wearing a mask as a sign of consideration for people who may not be as well-as you are. Certain people suffer from diabetes, cancer or suffer from a weak immune system. For them, everyday activities like shopping at the supermarket can cause anxiety in the absence of masks. There is security in numbers and if everyone are wearing masks, we significantly reduce the capacity of the virus to pass from one person to another. Be aware that the virus is trying to propagate. The goal, like every virus is to spread to us. We must create conditions that will stop it from doing that.
Do All Masks All Equal?
There isn’t a need to.
A study by Duke University tested 14 different kinds of masks. From N95 used by health professionals to neck-fleece, bandanas and masks made from scratch They were able observe how many droplets could be ejected from all kinds of masks.
The N95 had the highest results which was then surgical masks. Masks made of N95 are used only by health care professionals who perform special procedures within the hospital environment on extremely sick patients. There is a shortage worldwide of these special masks therefore they are not suitable to be used in everyday situations in the absence of a hospital. DIY masks made of different kinds of blends and cotton have shown great results and are the ones we should wear.
Masks, bandanas, and fleece turned out to be the most damaging. The neck fleece appeared to be ineffective as it broke up larger drops into smaller. This means it disperses droplets faster than if you were wearing a mask.
Masks that come with vents for exhalation The WHO and The Government of Canada do not recommend wearing masks with vents or exhalation valves. Although it may be tempting to purchase one (they can help you breathe more easily) however, they’re not efficient to fight COVID-19 due to their ability to allow respiratory droplets with infectious properties to be expelled from the mask. Since we would like the droplets within us, this kind of mask doesn’t reduce the spread of the virus.
Should I stop taking all other preventive measures If I Wear a Mask?
It would be wonderful to wear a mask in alone was enough. Unfortunately, it’s not.
Like we said droplets are responsible in spreading the virus. They are eliminated when you laugh, speak or cough. The mask can help shield others around you. However, wearing one doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be close to others.
Masks reduce the chance that others inhale droplets of respiratory fluid, but however, it doesn’t entirely eliminate the risk. Some droplets could be released from either through the sides or into the mask. By wearing a mask and staying six feet from each other, particularly inside, can significantly reduce the risk.
The wearing of a mask shouldn’t provide you with a false sense of security. Since the reason masks are used is to offer an additional layers of security, they should be properly worn and paired with other measures for public health. Maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people by washing your hands after washing them and avoid touching your face since you could contract the virus by contacts with the mucosal tissue (i.e. your eyes and mouth, nose and mouth, etc. ).