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Some argue simple masks better than nothing

 

Last updated 4/1/2020 at 9:23am



Although simple made-at-home masks lack the sophisticated filters that catch 95% of items as small as a virus, there’s heavy debate on whether official recommendations that people who are not sick should not wear them make sense.

Current articles in Wired magazine and the Washington Post argue that society-wide wearing of simpler masks could significantly cut down on the spread of the novel coronavirus.

All agree that the actual personal protective gear made for medical use should be dedicated to those health care workers on the front lines, but the average person just going to the grocery store would also benefit the community by wearing a mask because the virus is being spread by people with no symptoms who don’t know they have it.

“When we cough, sneeze, talk, or simply breathe we emit a plume of air and droplets, which are largely composed of saliva, mucus, salts, and—if we are infected—potentially dangerous microbes,” a March 30 online Wired article argues. “The smallest of these droplets, sometimes called aerosols, may hover or drift through the air for hours, potentially exposing anyone who enters that airspace. Larger droplets may travel only a few feet—or up to 26 feet.”

 

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