We asked Amy Tan, family doctor, and organizer of Masks Canada, to find out if the protective mask had a real impact.
Stop the spread of COVID-19 with a protective mask
Most Canadians agree that the mask helps stem the spread of COVID-19. In what proportion?
Science has proven that if 80% of the population wears a reusable cloth mask, the transmission of COVID-19 decreases by 40%. This is enough that the number of cases does not increase exponentially This is capital. This is why a high proportion of the public needs to buy into it.
Because my mask protects you and yours protects me?
Exactly. At the start of the pandemic, the mask was thought to protect the wearer, but now we know that its main benefit is not to prevent the virus from entering but to retain the droplets.
Is there an ideal mask?
A tightly woven, high-density cotton mask is fine, but you don’t need to strive for perfection; what matters is reducing the risk. If my mask retains most of the droplets, you are less likely to catch the virus or be very sick.
Should we wash it?
We wash our masks at the end of each day. The washer is ideal, but you can just soap it in hot water as you would wash your hands. In fact, always wash them before touching your mask and only handle the clips when removing or putting it on.
And the disposable mask, is it a good choice?
The blue and white disposable mask that we often see effectively retains droplets. It is because the cotton mask is reusable that I recommend it; it is more ecological … and more economical than a stock to be constantly renewed.
How tight should a mask be?
Preferably choose a mask that conforms to the shape of the nose – but does not tighten too much – so that it does not slip continuously. If you try one on and find it uncomfortable, don’t give up on wearing one. Find the right one. Masks are not one size fits all.
There are some who wear their masks even at home. Is this overkill?
We advise family members affected by an outbreak to isolate themselves from each other and not use the same bathroom, but this is not always possible. The mask then provides additional protection for more fragile subjects. If you have people at home who are not in your bubble, everyone should be wearing a mask.
When the pandemic is over …
When the pandemic is over, will the mask be viewed more widely as a protective measure?
I don’t know if everyone will embrace it, but I hope it becomes the normal reaction in the event of another epidemic of the same nature. If we hadn’t discussed the usefulness of the mask so much in May and early June, we wouldn’t be where we are today. I hope we learn from this painful ordeal.
Related Article: Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Gets Approval from Key FDA Panel