COVID-19: To wear or not to wear a homemade face cover in public?
Correlation of Coronavirus and face masks
This was one of the most confusing questions when the outbreak began. At first, many health authorities were issuing statements about face masks being useless in fight with Coronavirus. Now they are urging the public to leave the professional face masks for the frontline health workers and to wear homemade face covers in public all the time. There are numerous researches stating the efficiency of wearing professional and homemade face covers in fight with a new pandemic. Read about the efficiency of DIY cotton masks here.
Recent study of the latest trend of the COVID-19 shows the slow spread and flattening curve of the virus in most of the Asian countries including Japan and Singapore where wearing a mask is mandatory. Even some European countries such as Czechia and Austria made wearing face masks compulsory in public places and show much lower cases compared to the USA where the public was told “not to wear masks as they were useless”. As we know, everything is relative.
Main mistakes about COVID-19
As we reach the fourth month since the COVID-19 outbreak and look back, we see clearly that there are some huge mistakes which led to widespread of the virus. According to the data provided by Worldometers, currently 204 countries and territories have over 1 000 000 patients infected by COVID-19 and more than 53,000 deaths. These numbers are frightening and there doesn’t seem to be a flattening curve unless we do our best in fighting this deadly virus.
“Masks don’t help”
Official statements issued by the World Health Organisation in early 2020 urged the public not to wear face protection unless they have direct contact with COVID-19 infected people. Looking at statistics and comparing some of the data in countries which encourage and even make wearing a mask mandatory, we can now see that not wearing a mask when out in public is probably one of the main mistakes. It has been proven that almost 50% of patients didn’t show any symptoms yet could infect others around them. This shows how vulnerable everyone is without appropriate protection and measurement taken. Wearing a homemade face cover combined with good hygiene and social distance makes us feel much more protected and we don’t have to feel guilty for taking protection gear from frontline health workers. It is now a common knowledge that Coronavirus enters our respiratory system mostly through our eyes, nose and mouth. Properly made DIY face covers don’t only filter harmful microparticles, but also serve us as a reminder not to touch our face when we are out in the public. You can buy high-quality reusable cotton masks made following special guidelines here.
“Young people are safe”
It was claimed that Coronavirus is deadly only for elderly and young population is not under the risk of dying from it. As we watch new and ready the latest reports, we can see that most of the patients with Coronavirus in the ICU are under the age of 40. Even patients aged between 25-40 without any implying health issues are dying in a few days after contracting the deadly virus. Italy has lost over 40 frontline health workers who were young and healthy in a matter of several days. It has been proved now that high exposure to the virus will destroy any immune system despite the patient being young and without health issues. This means that being young doesn’t eliminate the need to wear a face mask, washing hands and keeping social distance on a constant basis. Even if young people have lower risk of dying from Coronavirus, they have higher chances of transmitting the virus to people around them. Wearing a face cover will not only protect the person who wears it but also others around that person.
“Vaccine will be ready in 3-4 months”
When the virus became known to the world on December 31, 2020, some scientists claimed that a new vaccine will be ready in a matter of a few months. However, when a virus is new it might take up to years to develop a vaccine to fight it. Now, some pharmaceutical giants such as Jhonson and Jhonson state that a new COVID-19 vaccine will be ready not sooner than early 2021. This leaves us with another at least 8 months to try and slow the spread of the deadly virus. Playing our part as best as we can and taking all the necessary precautions can save not only us and our family, but also many thousands and maybe millions of vulnerable people in the world until the vaccine is ready.
What to do?
Sooner we understand that this new virus is much more deadly than just a seasonal flu, more chances of survival we have for the world. Of course this doesn’t mean becoming obsessed with watching news with reports on increased deaths all the time which might make all of us depressed. Just wearing a homemade cotton mask in public, staying home when it’s possible, keeping hands clean all the time and distancing yourself at least 1,5 metres from others in public should do the trick. Take care and stay safe!