Wear a mask: our best weapon to slow the spread of coronavirus
Surgical and N95 masks are in short supply so instead of hoarding those, we should leave them for our doctors and Law enforcement agencies
It has been shown in certain studies that wearing a home-made mask can also help slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.
Even people without symptoms can infect others but a simple cloth covering can help decelerate the spread of harmful droplets. People are most infectious in the first week after catching this virus and during that time they often show no orvery few symptoms.
In other words, Covid-19 moves like a silent killer, with unknowing collaborators. The best way to ensure safety is thatyou wear a mask (any kind of simple cloth covering over your mouth, such as a home-made mask, or even a bandanna) wash your hands and keep your distance from others. N95 and other medical grade masks need to be kept for doctors as they have to perform medical procedures amongst infected patients.
We must focus our efforts on stopping the spread of droplets. This is because the virus is primarily transmitted through tiny droplets which are ejected through coughing, sneezing or talking too. You can’t see them, but they are there. We also know that these droplets can go significantly further than the 6ft which is widely cited as a safe distance.
Research supported by Nobel prize-winning virologist Harold Varmus tells us that placing a layer of cloth in front of a person’s face can help protect us from the droplets.
“Masks for All” Laws are now in place in Israel, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Mongolia and elsewhere, with more locations added every day. These steps don’t replace the need for social distancing and hand-washing.
We can see dramatic results when a country changes its policy on masks. Every country with enforced mask usage shows dramatically lower death rates compared with countries not using masks widely. If you look at the example of South Korea, every person in the country started using masks of all kinds, even home-made ones.
A World Health Organization (WHO) adviser Prof David Heymann CBE, said, “I think that wearing a mask is equally effective or more effective than distancing.”
Many jurisdictions have adopted laws that require mask use whenever in crowded places, such as public transport or shops. Some jurisdictions go further and require masks whenever out in public.
We can’t wait for our government to take these steps, we will have to take things into our own hands. We know this is possible, because the Czech Republic did it last month. In that country, people went from 0% mask use to nearly 100% mask use in three days. Then the government followed and made it the law.
Renowned fashion designer, Maria.B and other brands havefollowed this global campaign #masks4all and initiated in Pakistan by manufacturing home-made masks at their factories. They want the entire Pakistani population to join hands with them so that we can fight this virus together as one nation.
These brands have started, now it’s time for the rest of us to make this happen in our own communities and fight this virus with a simple use of mask.