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In the last few months, the government has made it mandatory for people to wear a mask when doing activities outside the home. Although many people don't like it, and not even a few are reluctant to wear it at all, but scientists have proven that taking this extra precaution (in addition to socially distancing) helps to significantly curb the spread of coronavirus.
Here are some of the top reasons why it's important to wear a mask during COVID-19 Pandemic, reported from Health.
1. Reduce Viral Transmission
“Surgical masks and cloth coverings can reduce viral transmission by 70% if everyone wears them and wears them correctly over [their] nose and mouth,” Purvi Parikh, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network and clinical assistant professor at the Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine previously told Health.
She is emphasizing the importance of not only wearing a mask, but wearing it properly. According to the CDC, that means washing your hands before putting on your face mask and making sure it covers your nose and mouth once in place. It should also fit snugly against your face and remain there until you leave a public setting.
2. Prevent Asymptomatic Spread
According to the CDC, an estimated 50% of transmission happens before people develop any COVID-19 symptoms. Wearing a mask is an easy way to reduce the risk of unknowingly spreading the infection. But it’s not a panacea, people also need to observe social distancing rules and practice good hand hygiene. “Masks don’t take the place of these other measures,” Eric Westman, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University told Health.
"Masks are acts of altruism; you are not protecting yourself by wearing a mask," Rochelle Walensky, MD, chief of the infectious diseases division at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Masks prevent people who are asymptomatic from spreading the virus to others. Making it just as important a precaution as social distancing and washing your hands.
3. You're Protecting Others from Illness.
Researchers note that mask-wearing is most effective when it's a communal effort. Consider the fact that the U.S. death toll could reach 211,000 by September 26, according to the CDC, up from the projected 180,000 by a group of Washington researchers. However, it's also been predicted that about many of these deaths could be prevented if 95 percent of the country would wear masks.
4. They're Mandated by the Government
In Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, the use of mask is mandatory. Many people violate the rule of wearing a mask and are subject to social sanctions and fines.
5. Good Hygiene in General
Medical professionals from surgeons to dentists were wearing masks to protect themselves from droplets, germs, and illness as well to prevent their own germs from spreading, even prior pandemic. In many cultures, wearing a mask when one is ill or has allergies is a sign of respect for others. Wearing a mask to protect yourself is normal, and simply good hygiene when in a high-risk situation.