Monday, April 27, 2020

Vox explains what face masks actually do against coronavirus

After two days mocking dangerously bad advice about how to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it's time to pass out some good advice.  To that end, I'm sharing the latest from Vox explaining how to fight coronavirus beyond hand washing and social distancing, What face masks actually do against coronavirus.

Face masks don't make you invincible.
The fight against coronavirus is global. But the guidelines on whether you should wear a face mask as part of that fight are often completely different from place to place. That means that, for a lot of people, whether you wear a face mask when you leave the house is basically up to you.

Here’s where almost every expert agrees: If you have Covid-19, and you leave the house, you should wear a mask. Masks help keep sick people from spreading their germs. Most of the uncertainty around mask use is related to a totally separate question: Whether healthy people should also wear masks to protect themselves from infection.

The truth is that no mask can actually guarantee that you won’t get sick; experts say one of the most dangerous assumptions about face masks is that they basically make you invincible. Masks have to be used correctly to offer any protection at all, and they’re most effective if used alongside other preventative measures like hand-washing and social distancing.

But experts also say that the question of whether healthy people should wear masks matters a lot less when you consider one of Covid-19’s most dangerous characteristics: Because of the disease’s long incubation period, and the high occurrence of infected people who never feel symptoms at all, it’s almost impossible to be completely sure that you don’t already have it. And that means the safest course of action is ultimately for everyone to behave like a sick person; in other words, to wear a mask.
I started wearing a mask when I returned to going out for errands a couple of weeks ago.  Regardless of how it protects me, it makes me less worried.  I also feel better when I see people I'm interacting with wearing masks.  It means they're being careful as well.  That's a good thing.

Enough of about the pandemic for today.  Stay tuned for another Marching music for a Democratic primary tomorrow.  It will be for the Ohio primary, which was postponed from St. Patrick's Day.