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pandemic news from trusted sources around the globe.
Wearing a face mask/face covering - along with practicing social distancing - are among the best tools that we currently have to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The data is now clear that masks can help to stop slow the spread.
However, how you wear a mask - as well as the type of mask you wear - can have a direct effect on how protected you and those around you will be. (For example, it's necessary to cover both your nose and your mouth!)
An interesting article in the LA Times published on July 17th describes some facts about masks, as well as one particular type of mask that should be avoided.
The LA Times article explains,
"America’s mainstream medical establishments have given their endorsement: Universal masking is essential for the nation to find its way out of a crippling COVID-19 pandemic and get schools back in session and the economy restarted.
“The data is clearly there, that masking works,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday in a webcast with the Journal of the American Medical Assn. “If we could get everybody to wear a mask right now, I really do think that in the next four, six, eight weeks, we could bring this epidemic under control.”
“Any mask can provide a barrier to respiratory droplets,” Chin-Hong said. “Fit and comfort is more important than anxiety about the type of mask you wear in the community.”
Wearing a mask is not about eliminating all risk, however. It’s about reducing risk."
So, masks work! We should all wear one. Just not the ones that have a "vent" on them.
As the above-referenced LA Times article goes on to explain,
"Experts also warn about the use of a specific kind of N95 mask that has a vent that allows a person’s breath to be concentrated when it escapes.
Those masks are intended to protect the person wearing them — such as construction workers wanting to avoid breathing in dust — but are terrible in a pandemic because they funnel a person’s potentially infectious breath outward.
To convert the N95 masks that have vent holes in the front, simply place a piece of tape over the external vent to cover it, health experts said."
Click here to read the full article on LA Times.
(And the article includes the following video to help you fix your mask, if you do in fact have one with a vent with a simple piece of tape.)