If you know me, you know I’m all about personal choice and freedoms. But today, as a friend, I am asking to consider one request from me:
Please wear a mask.
As always, any advice in this blog is based on science. A review by the World Health Organization indicated that social distancing, face masks and eye protection all appear to reduce the spread of COVID-19, in both health care settings and the general community, by up to 85%.
But what about the recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study that indicates that mask wearing is not effective. US News and World Report breaks this down nicely in one of their fact checks.
One piece of data in the CDC report — that 70.6% of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had self-reported that they “always” wore masks — does seem to be concerning.
However, a deep dive into the facts points to another underlying cause. Even where mask wearing is high, there are activities where masks can’t be worn, like eating or drinking. Most community transmission of COVID (and other diseases) are linked mainly to two important factors:
- Close contact with someone who has COVID. Over 40% of the patients studied who tested positive had close contact with an infected individual, compared to just 14% of “control patients.”
- Even among mask wearers, activities that preclude mask wearing – such as eating or drinking in a public restaurant or bar – is strongly linked to transmission of COVID. This linkage actually supports the important of wearing masks
As the pandemic continues – it really seems that the popular Mom advice is right – cover your mouth, wash your hands.
Stay safe and healthy, Friends!