Joseph R. Anticaglia MD
Medical Advisory Board
Face masks are “the most powerful public health tool” the country has against COVID-19. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield continued: “We have clear scientific evidence they work and they are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”
“If I don’t get an immune response”, Dr. Redfield said, “the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will.”
It’s baffling that the use of face masks during the COVID pandemic has come under attack and in some quarters they’re a political statement. Many health authorities validate the usefulness of masks to protect self and others from acquiring COVID-19. Why should you wear a mask? There are several reasons why it’s a good idea:
“I don’t leave home without wearing a face because…
- I’m an essential, frontline worker.
- I have comorbidities—several health problems.
- it’s the smart thing to do.
- COVID-19 sickens and kills millions of people.
- Science says masks save lives by blocking COVID-19 from infecting us.
- I’m elderly and more susceptible to coronavirus.
- I don’t want COVID-19 to kill me.
- I may be unaware I’m sick with COVID-19 and spread it to you and others.
- I don’t want to “swap air” with another person.
- I am immunocompromised.
- I want children and young adults to return to school classrooms.
- It might remind people that we’re all in this together to fight COVID-19.
- it’ll help the economy and small business recover.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci , Dr Robert Redfield and Dr Michael Osterholm wear face masks.
- it’s a no-brainer—it helps slow the spread of COVID-19.
Mask-On Before Going Outdoors
The use of face masks along with physical distancing, handwashing and avoiding unsafe gatherings have been proven to minimize the transmission of COVID-19. Health officials encouraged people to wear a mask when outdoors especially during our current “dark winter.”.
You just don’t know who might be spreading the disease to you; it could be a friend, a family member or a stranger. Some people may spread the disease unknowingly to you a few days before symptoms appear. Others may have asymptomatic COVID-19 and transmit the disease to you. Surprisingly, you may be the culprit.
On the other hand, you can slow the spread of COVID-19 by properly using a face mask, practicing social distancing, washing your hands and avoiding crowded indoor places. Mask-On — It’s the smart thing to do!
Scientists recommend that you continue to wear your mask and practice other safety precautions even after being vaccinated against COVID-19. They, at this time, don’t know how long the neutralizing antibodies remain in your body to fight coronavirus.
In addition, although you may be protected against getting COVID-19 post vaccination and be asymptomatic, it’s possible you may transmit the disease to another person. More time and research are needed to iron out these questions.
- Christiane Matuschek et al; The History and Value of Face masks; European Journal of Medical Research, published online, June 23, 2020
- Steinbrecher, Lauren (25 June 2020). “Utah’s faith leaders urge followers to wear masks in public”. Fox News
- Laura R. Garcia; Jones, Amy E.; (5 May 2020). “Facial protection for healthcare workers during pandemics: a scoping review”. BMJ Global Health
- Juan Carlos Rubio-Romero, et al; Disposable masks; Saf Sci. 2020 Sep;
- Lynne Peeples; Face masks: what the data say; Nature, October 6, 2020
- CDC: I Wear a Mask because…; November 3, 202
This article is intended solely as a learning experience. Please consult your physician for diagnostic and treatment options.