Masks protect people from COVID-19 the same way umbrellas protect them from rain, said Director of Coffee County Emergency Medical Services Michael Bonner.
“My philosophy is that a mask is like an umbrella,” Bonner said. “If it’s pouring rain, and I have an umbrella but don’t use it, I’m going to get wet. If I use the umbrella, I may still get a little wet, but I’m not going to get soaked.
“There’s a lot of research showing that your loading dose of virus affects your outcome. So if you get soaking wet in the rain (virus), you’re the one that’s going to end up on a ventilator and may even die. If you just get a very light load, then you are the one that usually would have light symptoms, don’t feel good for a couple of days, and then you’d be fine.”
Bonner urged locals to use face coverings.
“I am a big fan of the mask, any kind of mask,” he said. “Obviously, I want you to have the best mask – which CDC says is at least two layers of a fine, cotton weave, preferably three layers. You have to slow the virus down. So if someone is near you with the virus, and you don’t have a mask on, then the only thing stopping you from getting it is your nose hair, and that’s not the best filter.”
That’s why it’s vital to do anything you can to slow down the virus and decrease the viral load.
“Yes, some people are not well trained to put a mask on and off – obviously, you don’t want to grab the front with your hand because you would just get it all over your hand – but it’s still better than going out without a mask, or going out to the thunderstorm without an umbrella,” Bonner said. “You have to have some barrier, something to slow down that exposure.”
COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, sings or shouts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or be inhaled into the lungs. Research shows that a significant portion of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are pre-symptomatic) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.
To reduce the spread of the virus, CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
Masks help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced when masks are used along with other preventive measures, including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.