In America, many people are not wearing face masks. This is largely due to cultural reasons. If you wear a mask in the US, there’s a good chance you’ll get dirty looks from others. But wearing a mask does reduce your chances of getting the virus.
Some people think that wearing a mask is unlikely to prevent you from getting sick. This is based on incorrect and misleading guidance from the US government and from American officials. Facing a shortage of face masks for the sick and healthcare workers, they are trying to prioritize masks for them. But in doing this, they are discouraging people who do not have symptoms from wearing masks.
This is wrong and dangerous because 6 out of 7 people with coronavirus may have no symptoms, or very mild symptoms.
Thanks to the near-100% adoption of face masks, Hong Kong is now one of the safest places to be. Face masks are ubiquitous in Hong Kong, and the virus is well under control there. In most places, businesses do not allow people to enter without a face mask.
Face masks, along with mandatory temperature checks before entering restaurants, and separators between patrons, have saved countless lives in HK. Almost every store sells face masks and hand sanitizer. In some places, they are given out for free.
We all play a role in flattening the curve.
In order to slow the virus down, we must act as if we already have it. Here is why:
Because we need to act as if we already have the virus, everyone should be wearing a face mask anytime they are in the vicinity of other people.
Many people are told to wear masks only if you are sick. However, there is strong evidence of asymptomatic transmission, especially through younger people who have milder cases and don’t know they are sick, but are still infectious. The W.H.O. and C.D.C. agree that masks lessen the chances that infected people will infect others. That is another reason why everyone should use masks.
If the public is told that only sick people wear masks, then whose who do wear them may be stigmatized, and people may avoid wearing them if it screams, “I’m sick.”
Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as one of the reasons a widespread outbreak did not occur there.
In the US, officials and “health experts” have to recommend restricting face masks only to those who feel sick, and healthcare workers.
This is solely because of the short supply of masks. If you have a face mask, wear it.