CDC Urges People to Wear Face Masks in the US
Coronavirus continues to progress throughout the world, leaving, in its wake, destruction and absolute fear. The world seems to be collapsing into a pit of uncertainty and doubt as the disease simply refuses to be contained. The rapid progression and spread of the coronavirus not only pose a risk to human life but also, to world economy, global mobility, the system of education and what not.
The United States continues to combat the pandemic, imposing lockdowns — albeit quite flexible — in hopes of inhibiting it’s further spread in the country while the months long stringent lockdown in Wuhan, China is finally lifted, allowing normalcy to the citizens.
According to the CNN, as of April 8th, 2020, the number of total cases in the States has reached a staggering amount of 431,838 — presumptive cases included — while a chilling total of 14,768 confirmed casualties have been reported, giving rise to alarm and perturbation among the public.
(Statistics updated: April 8th, 2020, 9:45 pm ET)
Wear Face Masks: Are they Mandatory?
US media started blaming the increasing cases to the lack of medical equipment including protective gear and medical masks.
As the number of cases started growing, the N95 respirators and surgical masks soon started running low, hence, health care providers, doctors and nurses were left vulnerable to the contagious disease.
International and nation health organisations condemned the use of such masks by the general public, providing a list of reasons why wearing of masks by the masses can become a problem for health care providers, number one being, of course, shortage of wear face masks for doctors.
Recently though, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, revised their guidelines regarding the usage of face masks by healthy and immunocompromised individuals alike.
Here’s what CDCs revised instructions suggest:
“[In light of this new evidence] CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”
CDCs paradoxical statements could be a result of observation of other countries where, as soon as the cases started being reported, face masks became ubiquitous.
In images from other countries regulating on social media, the general public can be seen sporting to wear face masks, something that was not being practiced in the US since the beginning.
How effective are cloth masks?
Contrary to the belief of the masses that regular cloth or non-surgical masks do not prevent or protect from the disease, they can prove to be moderately effective, so to use them in public settings while leaving the medical masks for the professionals is not such a bad idea.
Home made, non-medical masks, while not as effective as N95 or medical masks, can reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from infected, asymptotic individuals.
They might not be iron masks, but they can definitely decrease one’s chance of contracting the disease through contaminated air. Check this step by step guide from CDC for making a face mask at home.
Whether or not they’re effective and exactly how much protection can they provide us, is therefore, not worthy of becoming the next dilemma.
The only arguments that should be put forward are to the people going against the CDCs instructions because in the end, prevention is better than cure.