Should Canadians be wearing face masks when they go out – the answer most public health officials will give is an unequivocal yes.
How Much Does A Face Mask Cut Transmission Risk?
Public health officials in Canada have been very unclear throughout the COVID-19 pandemic across a number of subjects. It’s understandable why some Canadians may not trust their recommendations as they seem to change on a week-to-week and sometimes day-to-day basis. That said, peer-reviewed studies have shown that wearing a face mask can cut COVID-19 transmission risk by anywhere from 79-95%. Consider that for a moment.
Scientific Studies Support It
Evidence from scientific study of the regions who have high face mask use suggests they do a tremendous amount at preventing the transmission of COVID-19. If someone is unknowingly sick with COVID-19 and asymptomatic, a face mask worn effectively prevents them from giving someone else the virus. Thereby, if everyone wore a face mask effectively, within a matter of weeks, potentially we could see virus numbers reduce to as close to zero as we’ve come throughout the post-March pandemic period.
An Open Mouth Means Things Are Coming Out
It’s awkward to think about but if you’re talking, droplets are coming out of your mouth. They’re not always visible but debris is coming out and it’s coming out fast. A COVID-19 face mask will catch a lot of that and ensure those droplets don’t end up on someone else’s clothing or a surface. They also prevent them from getting into the air and the ventilation system. The more Canadians wearing a face mask, the more prevention there is in our community.
Protests Against Mandatory Mask-Wearing
Canada is unlikely to ever make mask-wearing mandatory in the COVID-19 pandemic for two reasons. The first is that there is a lot of protest right now from people who don’t believe in coronavirus face masks and choose not to wear them. The second is because no province has the policing to enforce such an order and trying to enforce a mandate such as this would be chaos.
Face Masks Don’t Provide Full Protection
Do wear a mask. It is key. The more of us who sport masks, the more protection we give to our seniors and vulnerable populations. Measures like social distancing are equal in importance. Although transmission risk can be cut by as much as 95%, a face mask isn’t going to provide you and others full protection from transmitting COVID-19. Ensure you’re still using hand sanitizer regularly, are disinfecting when you come into your home, and are maintaining two metres of distancing between you and others.