mask information with a COVID context 

I'm really tired of people spreading bad information about the utility of civilians wearing masks.

It's true no mask will guarantee you safety. But they're a crazy useful tool as *part of a strategy* to protect yourself and others against infection.

Even homemade masks -- even a *bandana* -- combined with reduced social contact and physical distancing when you must be in public can make a huge difference ➦

mask information with a COVID context 

➥ first, they have the highest utility when worn by someone who is infectious. I see this often stated as "who is sick", but the thing with SARS-CoV-2 is that *you are infectious long before you're sick*.

Everyone should be wearing a mask in public. ➦

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mask information with a COVID context 

➥ second, if an infectious person is *not* wearing a mask, you're still significantly safer from becoming infected if *you* are wearing a mask. This is spread mainly through droplets, and reducing the number that enter your high-risk areas (like nose and mouth...) will reduce your risk of getting infected.

Everyone should be wearing a mask in public. ➦

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mask information with a COVID context 

➥ third, while it's true that home-made masks or improperly-worn masks or improperly-worn home-made masks are LESS effective both for uninfected and infected folks who wear them, they're still more effective than not wearing them. And if everyone wears them, the effectiveness adds together.

Everyone should be wearing a mask in public. ➦

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mask information with a COVID context 

➥ fourth, *any barrier* that slows the speed of droplets that leave your mouth increases the effectiveness of physical distancing by limiting the range those droplets can travel. Some are more effective than others, and you should use the most effective one available to you; but ALL are more effective than nothing.

Everyone should be wearing a mask in public. ➦

mask information with a COVID context 

➥ fifth, *any barrier* that can slow or stop a droplet entering your mouth decreases the chance you'll get infected. Even a shirt, even a bandana, even a homemade mask. Again, use the most effective available, but any is better than none.

Everyone should be wearing a mask in public. ➦

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mask information with a COVID context 

➥ In summary:

Masks don't *replace* other safety measures, but they do effectively reduce risk. Especially when combined with other safety measures. And while mask types vary in effectiveness, ALL barriers reduce risk more than not wearing anything.

EVERYONE SHOULD BE WEARING A MASK IN PUBLIC

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