Numerous studies have found Covid-19 can be transmitted by people who do not even show symptoms, meaning the coronavirus could be transferred between people in close proximity – whether speaking, coughing or sneezing. The idea is that if your nose and mouth are covered, it reduces the risk of your droplets (from your saliva or mucus, but also tiny droplets you expel, but cannot necessarily see) landing on someone else.
When it comes to the use of fabric masks research has found that “cloth masks, worn by an infected person are highly effective at protecting the people around them. This is known as “source control”. And it is source control that matters in the debate about whether the public should wear masks. If you have COVID-19 and cough on someone from 8 inches away, wearing a cotton mask will reduce the amount of virus you transmit to that person by over 90% and is even more effective than a surgical mask.”
Trisha Greenhalgh the Professor of Primary Health Care Services at the University of Oxford believes that the UK public should now be wearing face covers when in crowded places, whether this is when on public transport or in supermarkets, she told the HuffPost UK “It’s the socially responsible thing to do and may save lives”. When talking about facemasks vs coverings, she also explained how “a cloth mask protects other people from your coughs and sneezes. It’s more comfortable and you can personalise it and make it fit your own style.”
Jeremy Howard, a data scientist recently wrote that “About half of infections are from people that aren’t showing symptoms – so people that don’t know they’re sick are infecting others. Because masks are far more effective at blocking infection at the source, that means we need everyone to wear a mask in public, since otherwise unmasked people put those around them at risk.”
Here are some websites that we suggest you take a look at if you would like to find out more information: