In today’s day and age, it is peculiar to see anyone walking around without a mask on. After all, the World Health Organization and the government are strictly recommending the use of masks. However, we also see many people protesting against the use of these masks. So it keeps us asking these questions- what are the advantages and disadvantages of using a mask? And should you wear masks? Well we will tell you all about the pros and cons and let you decide for yourself!
So let us talk about the advantages first. Advantages of wearing face masks include:
1. It is one of the few proven ways to help limit the Coronavirus spread
As coronavirus cases keep rising in many parts of the United States, health experts have urged the public to wear face masks. And much of it also has to do with what experts are finding about the usefulness of face coverings.
The mask is seen by more and more studies as an effective means to help limit the Coronavirus spread, which has infected almost 3 million Americans to this day. The Corona virus is spreading throughout the world faster than wildfire and we are at such a point where the major options to help prevent the spread include wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and vaccination. If masking a mask is a small step to help the whole world get out through this pandemic… well now it feels like a pretty small price to pay doesn’t it?
2. Protection for you and the people around
The coronavirus is transmitted primarily via respiratory droplets formed when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Face masks, on the other hand, may prevent these droplets from spreading. According to Ron Waldman, M.D., professor of global health at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, they serve as a shield to prevent virus-containing particles from exiting an infected person and entering into another person’s respiratory system.
Droplets flew more than 8 feet without a mask, according to some reports. According to researchers, a bandanna shortened the range to 3 feet, 7 inches. Furthermore, a folded cotton hankie reduced the distance to 1 foot, 3 inches.
3. You may not be aware that you’re infectious.
Masks were once only suggested for people who had tested positive for COVID-19 and wanted to shield those around them. As it was later discovered that the virus can be transmitted by people before they display symptoms (pre-symptomatic) and by people who never show symptoms (asymptomatic), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded its recommendations, advising everyone to cover their faces in public.
About 40% of infected people never show symptoms of COVID-19, according to some reports, including one published recently in the journal Nature. According to Waldman, this makes detecting who is a possible virus transmitter extremely difficult.
Even if you think you are healthy, wearing a mask is recommended by both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). It’s one way to help prevent the virus from spreading accidentally to others, particularly people who are more vulnerable to become seriously ill if infected with the coronavirus- such as immune compromised persons and the elderly age group. So, when wearing a mask you are not just helping yourself live, but also helping other live.
4. It is useful when social distancing is not possible
Wearing a mask in places where adequate distance is not possible, such as in public vehicles, decreases the spread of virus-laden droplets and thus the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Now that you know the pros of wearing a mask when you go out, let us also familiarize you with the cons.
So what are the cons of wearing a mask?
1. It’s critical to put on the mask correctly. It must be airtight against the skin to have any impact. Otherwise, it is useless. The mask must also be properly donned. The exterior side of the mask must not be touched. As long as possible, use one mask only once and refrain from reusing the same mask.
2. When wearing a mask, people can feel nervous, disheartened, or even mentally disturbed owing to the unavailability of nonverbal communication. This is especially relevant for people with severe mental illnesses or hearing loss.
3. Pathogens may accumulate in masks if they are not changed on a regular basis (or washed properly if they are cloth masks). When used incorrectly, the danger of pathogen transmission—including SARS-CoV-2—may be significantly increased.
4. Due to everyone hoarding up masks, there may not be enough for the health workers who are out there working at the hospitals. So , this aspect must also be remembered and taken care of.
5. The parts of your face constantly covered by the mask may be prone to developing acne due to the change in humidity and pH that the skin is not used to.
6. Face masks might make breathing difficult for patients suffering from respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.
7. When two people wear masks, the quality and volume of their speech is significantly reduced, and they can unintentionally come closer. This means that social distancing may hardly be possible.
Now that you know the pros and cons of wearing a mask, you know enough to decide. Should you wear a mask? Well, It is recommended by the WHO that you do, and it is one of the few effective ways to fight off this pandemic together. There are minor inconveniences, and masks may not be suitable to certain people. However, if you are able to do so, wearing a mask presents as a way of symbolizing empathy and unity, not just for yourself and your country but for the whole world.