As 2020 starts to reach its fall, the entire world has been flipped upside down when it comes to how it used to operate. The big cities have become nearly desolate. There are a few countries that are still trying to operate and let the population roam around but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, everything is uncertain.
In countries, states, counties, and cities the dilemma then becomes this; whether to focus on getting the economy back on its feet? Or go the route of saving as many lives as possible from this insidious disease. No matter which route they go for, 6 months into the pandemic and Facemasks have become a necessity.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs defines basic needs as food, shelter, security and safety. As the safety of the community and the individual has become a lot more dependent on social distancing, facemasks can also be added to the basic needs within the hierarchy as they are a vital part in social distancing.
However, the general public and facemasks do have a rocky history. Reasons being that there are still sceptics regarding the usefulness of facemasks. Even though the conspiracy theorists are of no help in the matter, it was exacerbated by the reticent behaviour of CDC and WHO in the early days of the pandemic when they failed to recognize the important role facemasks have.
The science behind facemasks is that it prevents someone carrying the diseases from expelling the infected droplets into the air via speaking, coughing, sneezing or even just breathing the same space as the healthy for too long. Not only that, the most prevalent way for a disease to spread is through the touching of face, particularly mouth and nose, be the hands carrying the disease from infected surfaces. The use of Facemasks discourages the touching of the face and it could become an effective 2nd line of defence after the proper use of handwash and hand sanitization.
You wonder though, why WHO and CDC did not recommend the use of masks by the general public? In the earlier days, both organizations, whose advice carry a lot of weight internationally, only recommended the use of facemasks by the people who were sick or symptomatic. In fact, they went so far as to state that the use of facemasks by the healthy portion of the population may be useless in the prevention of the disease.
Since then we have concluded through science that it is important for the entire general public to be wearing a mask or any type of face covering in order to curb community transmission.
The reason CDC and WHO gave that advise in the start is because they didn’t have the complete data on the prevalence of the spread of the disease. A big reason for that was enough tests wasn’t being conducted, not just in the developing countries, but the countries world as well. As the coronavirus testing went along. It was discovered that the spread of the disease didn’t just depend on the people showing symptoms, but also the people who are pre-symptomatic or even asymptomatic. In fact, recent studies have shown that the disease carrying load of a pre-symptomatic person maybe the highest.
This is how coronavirus has managed to infiltrate life as we know it. Proper use of Facemasks has become a basic necessity for the masses. There are many facemasks available in the market ranging from hand made to the ones marketed through fashion trends. KN-95 Facemask comes highly recommended by the WHO because of its narrow filtration holes that trap the infected droplets. They also have a better shelf life. Other facemasks such as normal disposable facemasks are also up to par with the challenge, but they need to be used properly and disposed of following its usage.