Since the World Health Organization (WHO) decreed COVID-19 as a pandemic and spread the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, people have created many debates about it. One of the main ones has to do with the use of masks. While many choose not to leave home without one, others develop conspiracy theories or arguments to justify their absence. But what is the real answer? Keep reading this article, and you will find out!
Should you really wear a mask during the pandemic or not?
If you are one of the people who still do not know if they should use a mask or if it is not beneficial for health care, then you have come to the right place. Here you will find all the information you need to finally know if you need one. In this sense, this is what health organizations and some of the best experts on the subject say. Pay attention!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States(CDC):
This organization recommends not wearing masks if you are not sick. Also, it indicates that you don't need a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick. If you have some symptoms, you should wear a facial mask in public places or when you are near other people -in a room or vehicle, for example. The same happens for health care offices; it is completely necessary to put one on before entering them.
- World Health Organization (WHO):
In the same way, the World Health Organization holds the same position. This entity recommends that people who have symptoms should wear a face mask to avoid infecting others if they carry the virus. Also, it is strictly necessary that those who care for infected people use them as well. On repeated occasions, the organization has commented that the masks worn by the general public are not an official recommendation.
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- Anthony Fauci, director of the United States National Institute of Allergy:
Anthony Fauci, health expert and director of the National Institute of Allergy in the United States, indicated that masks should not be used to replace social distancing, as seen in some countries. Contrary to this, they should be used as a supplement.
Recent information has indicated that the virus can spread when people speak and not only when they cough or sneeze, so a mask is not a sufficient barrier to prevent infections. Besides, he noted that it is important to use face shields in conditions where the recommended distance cannot be maintained.
How and when to wear a mask.
As a summary, we list the moments when it is highly recommended to wear a mask:
- You must wear a mask in any situation in which you cannot maintain the minimum distance of two meters between you and another person, such as closed spaces, supermarkets, public transport, among others. The masks do not protect those who use them at 100%, so it is necessary to accompany them with other measures to ensure that they work.
- People who suspect they are infected with SARS-CoV-2 should also wear a mask. This group includes people with symptoms, health workers, and caregivers of people in the social health field.
- You should also wear a surgical mask if you are part of a health personnel team and you are in constant contact with sick patients. Doctors, nurses, and specialists of this are the first line of defense against the virus, so they can infect and be infected easily. The use of masks is mandatory for them.
Myths about the use of masks.
- Use of any mask, including the homemade ones:
Masks have a specific function, and that is why they meet certain characteristics, such as the inclusion of air filters. The shortage of this material due to the large number of infections has led many people to make their own masks at home. To do this, they use some type of fabric.
This is not recommended. A mask made only of fabric does not fulfill its protection function since it does not have filters or is designed for medical use. Also, the fabric is not an anti-fluid material so it also cannot prevent a person from getting the virus.
- Use of masks to avoid catching:
This is another controversial issue concerning the sanitary measures that are being implemented to prevent the expansion of COVID-19. Many people think that any mask will protect them from contagion, but the reality is far away from that.
The only mask capable of meeting this dual objective is the FPP2 without an exhalation valve. To avoid infecting others, it is not recommended to use FPP2 type masks that include an exhalation valve. Likewise, FPP3 masks should not be used since they contain exhalation valves that can prevent the wearer from being protected against possible contagions.
Should I wear a mask if I have no symptoms?
This is another of the main debates that have been generated in this regard. Many people around the world, including governments and specialists, indicate that people who do not have symptoms should not wear a mask. However, many experts claim the opposite.
CVODI-19 may present asymptomatically in some patients, and they may infect others without knowing it. For this reason, the use of masks is recommended for all people. If someone is a carrier of the virus and does not know it, they run the risk of infecting others. So, to avoid it, they must wear a mask.
In conclusion, it is recommended that all people wear masks even if they do not have suspicions of having the disease. This new coronavirus can be transmitted very easily, so anyone can be infected without feeling sick. In this scenario, if you don't take the necessary steps, it can cause the virus to continue spreading.
Now, do you know if you should wear a mask or not? We hope this information has been useful to clear all the doubts you had. Remember to stay safe and comply with preventive measures to avoid getting infected and infecting others!