To Mask Or Not To Mask?
Where Is the Science?
One of the most hotly debated topics in the country, if not the world, is mask requirements and mandates, because the government, including the CDC, news media, across the board, and leadership have not providing the information people need in order to know, or decide.
At the same time, it seems everyone touts the words, “Follow the science”. Well, where is the science?
What we are seeing is such a poor job of communication it is amazing – not only to me, but to millions of Americans.
Again, where is the science? Where is the data? What studies have been done? What studies are underway? Is there any proof of anything?
In fact, there is a ton of information about masks, most of which was developed prior to COVID-19. Companies like 3M have been producing masks for decades, and they are regulated strictly by CDC guidelines. If you search for the information you can find it, but you really have to search and study and good luck interpreting the spec-sheets.
As it turns out, from our study, N95 mask and a variety of surgical masks give you long lasting protection from COVID-19. Also, as it turns out, cloth masks offer only a small amount of protection.
What may be even more important is the way you wear and handle the mask. Taking the masks on and off, fiddling with them with your hands and touching things afterwards, and not cleaning them properly may have an even greater impact on the effectiveness of the mask.
Even the high-quality masks can become sources of spread if they are not handled and cleaned properly. We have all seen shows on TV and movies where surgeons are very careful to wash their hands with antiseptic soap and not touch anything afterwards, and have a mask placed on them by another thoroughly sterilized person. That would be the correct procedure to achieve maximum impact.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force recommended not wearing masks in the beginning because improper touching and handling of the masks was likely to increase the spread rather than prevent it. The Task Force also pointed out that wearing a mask gave people a false sense of security.
What government leaders, the CDC, and news networks need to do is show people the data, show people the facts, and be clear on the messaging. Then, it is much more likely that people will understand and make the right decisions for themselves and their families. Speaking down to people rarely works, at any age, and especially among young people.