Healthcare officials say wearing face masks is one of the best tools we have to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Fox News reported a new study showed the compulsory use of face masks could slow the transmission of the disease by as much as 40%. And as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise in America, many government officials are calling for mask mandates in their jurisdiction.
However, according to Fast Company, wearing a mask can have four unintentional consequences that might actually undo the benefits.
- You may slack off in other disease-prevention measures. For example, studies have shown people who wear masks do not wash their hands as frequently as they should.
- Many people wear their masks incorrectly. The Pandemic Action Network posted celebrity videos of actress Mayim Bialik and singer Olivia Newton-John wearing their masks correctly. Very often people wear loose-fitting masks and do not cover their nose and mouth which allows pathogens to enter.
- If people touch the outside of their masks to adjust or removed them, they risk becoming infected, according Fast Company. Always use the elastic straps that cover your ears when handling face masks.
- Researchers reported if the entire population of the U.K. started wearing disposable masks daily it would present a significant environmental hazard amounting to 46,000 U.S. tons of potentially contaminated waste. Fast Company also reported many cities are noticing increased littering of masks.
The bottom line is we should wear masks when social distancing is not possible, avoid touching our faces, and choose reusable masks instead of disposable ones to reduce waste.
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