With much still unknown about how the global COVID-19 pandemic will play out, there is one thing that remains clear – by taking precautions and following simple steps today, all of us can play active and critical roles in slowing its spread.
These steps include staying home when sick; washing your hands; adhering to social distancing guidelines; and wearing face coverings. We witnessed the first spike in cases in early spring across the Northeast, and officials warned against further spikes, especially if preventive measures were not taken. A resurgence of cases has arrived, with many states experiencing their highest number of daily cases yet and hospitals once again reaching capacity.
If we want to significantly reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and quickly and safely return to normal activity, then we must wear masks. This simple measure can meaningfully impact the pandemic’s trajectory, and it is imperative that we each do our part. It will save lives. Here are a few reasons why we must wear masks, based upon what we know about the coronavirus:
- The coronavirus spreads mainly through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, sings, or the like. Many people unknowingly harbor the virus, and by wearing a mask, you can help prevent the spread of droplets, thus protecting all of us.
- If everyone wore a mask, we could dramatically reduce the number of infections. In fact, according to the director of the CDC, the United States could potentially control the spread of coronavirus within a matter of weeks if everyone wore face coverings.
- There is no vaccine currently available for COVID-19, so the best way to prevent illness is to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. Evidence supports the efficacy of masks.
- Masks help protect you, your family, your friends, and our community.
If we want to get back to safely enjoying the activities we cherish – vacations, school, work, happy hour with friends, visiting grandparents – then every individual in our country needs to accept that wearing a mask is his or her responsibility. It is the right thing to do. You should expect the same of your family, friends, teammates, and community members. If we follow this simple act, we will help keep ourselves and one another safe and begin to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Wear a mask. Wear it regularly. Doing so can save lives.
For more information on the coronavirus and how you can slow the spread, please utilize the CDC’s website or talk with your trusted healthcare provider.