As we all deal with the new normal of life under the coronavirus pandemic, taking precautions to help limit the spread of the virus becomes key if we don’t want to return to isolating at home. Having the ability to visit your cosmetic dentist in McKinney for non-emergency care requires that infection rates stay down. If infections continue to spike here in Texas, we may all find ourselves stuck again at home.
Fortunately, researchers now believe they have established proof that the widespread use of face masks – even those made at home – could have a significant impact on reducing coronavirus transmission rates and may even help to control a second wave of the virus from hitting later this year.
In a study released last week, researchers from both Greenwich and Cambridge universities said that stay-at-home mandates alone would not sufficiently stop the spread of COVID-19. However, when periods of lock downs are followed by 100 percent face mask use, “there is vastly less disease spread, secondary and tertiary waves are flattened and the epidemic is brought under control,” wrote researchers in their published findings.
“We conclude that face mask use by the public, when used in combination with physical distancing or periods of lock-down, may provide an acceptable way of managing the COVID-19 pandemic and re-opening economic activity,” wrote the team in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.
Why Face Mask Matter
The findings of this latest study help to reinforce the often confusing and somewhat contradictory messaging sent by public health officials regarding whether people should wear a facial covering while out in public.
Initially, reports from health officials described wearing a face mask as ineffectual at preventing the wearer from contracting the coronavirus. However, as researchers started learning more about the virus, they discovered that up to 35 percent of those infected were asymptomatic, meaning they showed no signs of the virus. Showing no symptoms is not the same thing as not being contagious.
Since COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets, public health offices began to change their opinions regarding the use of a face mask. Wearing a mask still does not protect an individual from potentially contracting the virus, but it does make an asymptomatic individual with COVID-19 less likely to spread the virus when out in public. Therefore, if we all wear a mask while out in public, the chances of us inadvertently spreading the virus decreases dramatically.
“The study found that if people wear masks whenever they are in public it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if masks are only worn after symptoms appear,” wrote researchers.
Should You Wear a Mask?
Even though it took time, the world medical community seems united behind the idea that wearing a face mask in public is the best option for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization recently changes its stance on the value of wearing a face masks and now agrees that facial coverings do provide a public health benefit.
If we want to enjoy the freedom visiting a cosmetic dentist in McKinney for non-emergency care, we must all do our parts to help prevent the spread of the disease. As recent spikes in Texas and other states have shown, the recent drop in reported cases of COVID-19 only signals an eventual increase once people begin to leave their homes. If as a society we don’t want to return home under quarantine while business close their doors until infections once again drop, we need to take as many precautions as possible. That means we should all wear a mask when out in public to protect the health of everyone in our community.