Covering up to go out, face mask and all, is an increasing trend among Canadians. Despite economic restrictions beginning to lift in the months ahead, face masks are something we fully expect to see stick around.
Coronavirus face masks are a kind way to respect those around you. Though it is less effective preventing you from catching COVID-19, wearing a face mask prevents you from spreading it among others.
To put it in a nutshell, face masks have the potential to save lives. COVID-19 patients are sometimes asymptomatic, from what we know. If you happen to contract COVID-19 and no symptoms show, this doesn’t mean you can’t spread it to someone else. A face mask prevents that from happening.
When the coronavirus outbreak in Canada began, we were advised face masks weren’t as effective as social distancing at curbing the spread. This remains true. This doesn’t mean some form of face mask isn’t a way to protect you and the community around you.
The wearing of face masks for COVID-19 really originated in Southeast Asia where there’s a longstanding tradition of wearing masks to protect one’s self. In Canada, the practice saw reluctance among most. After all, no one has advised us to wear face masks when we go out. Social distancing has been the recommendation.
More people have come around, however, to face masks. Thousands of Canadians who have never worn a mask before are now wearing a face mask. Some are even creating their own homemade masks from materials at home.
Masks or face shields should not be a substitute for social distancing. Needless to say, social distancing is the real preventative in the fight against COVID-19. Face masks are there to significantly reduce the likelihood of you, or an asymptomatic person, from transferring coronavirus through a cough, sneeze, or even a yawn.
There’s an argument to be made that face shields are far better than face masks at the prevention of catching COVID-19. A mask doesn’t cover your eyes, nose, or ears. A face shield does or, at least, it blocks those areas of access. If particles or droplets containing COVID-19 suddenly come flying at you, a face shield completely denies them access to your face.
No matter what, the days of face masks in Canada aren’t going to come to a close with the removal of the economic shutdown. This isn’t a bad thing, either. They’re a necessary tool in the pandemic fight, before, after, and potentially for years to come. It’s a new culture. Face masks are very much the ‘new normal’.
Featured image by Freepik