Masks: The new norm
Non-medical masks will not prevent you from contracting COVID 19. But it certainly makes a difference, up to a 30% decrease of contracting the disease? According to a recent article from “The Lancet”1a cotton mask can decrease the spread of COVID 19 around 30%, two layers of cotton up to 13% and one layer around 2%. For your information, N95 get their name because they filter out 95% of infectious particles from the air. These masks are deemed necessary for healthcare workers and need to be tested for a proper fit.
The Ontario government has not mandated public mask wearing by many municipalities have.
As of July 20, 2020, this is a list of Southern Ontario regions and cities that require mask wearing when physical distancing is not possible and when inside public buildings.
- Windsor-Essex County
- St. Catharines
As everyone should be aware by now, COVID 19 is spread by droplets we expel when breathing through our nose or mouth. The larger droplets can really fly. The force exerted during a sneeze or cough, causes these large droplets to travel at least 2 metres or 6 feet. Recently, a study was released by the WHO that very small droplets that can be expelled during extreme exertion, like singing, shouting or exercising, can stay suspended in room air.
More than masks
Masks alone will not prevent us from contracting COVID. Physical distancing and hand hygiene are still very important. When all three processes are combined, we have a safer community. There are exception to having to wear a mask. People that have problems breathing are not expected to wear masks as well as children under two years old. For this group of people social distancing, hand hygiene and not touching their face with dirty hands is paramount for prevention. Have hand sanitizer available if your not able to wash your hands. The sanitizer must be alcohol based with at least 70% isopropanol