We ask that everyone do their part and wear a face mask.  Research emphasizes that masks effectively protect others from catching an infection from a person wearing one. So, by wearing a mask you are showing respect for others.  

The overall benefits of wearing face masks include the following: 

  • Protecting yourself: We don’t know how many people we encounter daily who have the virus, so wearing a mask can protect us, too. Unless it’s an N95 mask, it’s not guaranteed to protect you from the virus, but it still gives you some level of protection. USA Today cited a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which revealed that “liquid droplets from sneezes, coughs and just exhaling can travel more than 26 feet and linger in the air for minutes.”

  • Preventing the spread to others: It’s still not known how many people are carrying this virus while either asymptomatic or presymptomatic and how much it can spread in these stages. People need to wear masks that can prevent the spread of droplets into the air and infect other people. Wearing a mask will reduce 95% of the droplets that can be carried 6 feet in the air. It is important to note that it is most effective when the infected person (asymptomatic or symptomatic) is wearing the mask!

  • Psychological benefit: Even though it’s not guaranteed to protect you from getting the virus, there can be some psychological benefit that comes from the feeling of protection. This can help with people’s anxiety. Another bonus - just the act of seeing masks are a great visual reminder to keep your physical distance.

  • Masks stop you from touching your face:  On average, we touch our faces around 52 times every day, and every time we can carry infectious agents from whatever we just touched to the region around our mouth and nose.  Face masks stop you from touching your face - and as a rule of thumb, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds when you remove the mask at home.

Take a look at the amazingly low transmission rate illustrated here when everyone wears a mask.  Please note that face masks are not a substitute for practicing social distancing and good hygiene. 

If you have a topic for Wellness Wednesday, email us at Elements@nfta.com.