Face masks help prevent the spread of diseases, as most of us have heard now due to the current health crisis aka Coronavirus aka COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that everyone wear at least cloth-made face coverings when in public settings, while also observing social distancing measures. Similar measures are being mandated by many cities and states.
Before you buy (or make) a mask, you should first understand that in most cases, face coverings help people who may have the virus (and don’t realize it) from giving it to people around them. This may seem counterintuitive, but that’s because true respirators, the N95 masks and other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) you’ve seen medical personal wear, are generally used to protect the wearer, presuming he/she is in an environment that may include infected people. It’s also important to note that no ‘off the shelf’ face mask can guarantee protection from droplet transmission by viruses like COVID, but when we all wear them, they can slow down the spread (i.e., flatten the curve).
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