Facemask vs COVID-19
Week of 23rd March 2020
Many western countries are suggesting that one shouldn’t wear a face mask for various reasons, while in Asia, wearing a face mask is highly encouraged during the crisis of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, many arguments used are based on past experience that may not apply to COVID-19 meanwhile, the stigma of wearing a mask has created discriminatory reactions. We explore the pros and cons of wearing a facemask this week.
From the web:
From our Chief Opinionator:
Yes , wear one if you need to leave the house.
My opinion? Yes, wear a facemask. Others may disagree.
One argument is that you don’t need one unless you are sick, which unfortunately is a terribly flawed argument. COVID-19 has been known to be spread during incubation period (14 days but there have been cases that stretch up to 27 days as of this post), which is one of many major differences between COVID-19 and the flu. If during the 27 days of incubation, an infected individual is not aware that s/he is sick, then the habit of wearing that facemask will substantially limit community spread.
Another argument is that you shouldn’t touch your face and that’s important enough. Well, that’s what a facemask helps you avoid, touching your face. As a facemask wearer, I've noticed that the moment you wear a facemask, you become a lot more conscious about touching your face. So unless you have perfect control of not touching, then yes, a facemask is useful that way.
Another argument is that facemasks aren’t worn correctly, so ditch them. It doesn’t take a rocket scientists to learn how to wear a facemask, watch this video from WHO.
You are depleting supply from the medical staff. Unfortunately, that is also true, as the world is racing to order more facemasks, governments and hospitals are also standing in line. Therefore, it is most important to practise social distancing. The less you go out, the less likely you need to wear a facemask. Every box that you have unnecessarily stock piled at home can be reserved for medical staff.