Should I Still Mask Even If No One Else Does?

By Kurt Stolz on 2 May 2022
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While the federal mask mandate in the United States ended rather abruptly last month – some travelers were told mid-flight that they could unmask if desired, an announcement accompanied by much cheering in some cases – it has left responsible individuals wondering when they should don a face mask.

The court ruling that ended the federal came just as Covid cases in the country started to trend upwards.

The 7-day average of new cases was just 29,196 on the last day of March and hit a 2022 low of 28,549 on April 3. There were almost 82,000 new cases in the country on Friday and the 7-day incidence was at its highest point at 57,169 since March 2, when it was at 57,604.

The answer to the question, however, is fairly straightforward.  It’s important to note that masks serve two purposes with respect to the pandemic: they block particles from entering your mouth and from leaving others’ mouths.  The ideal situation is when everyone is masked, but we don’t live in a perfect world.

Wearing an N95 or KN95 mask – the gold standard of face masks – is still an effective shield against the coronavirus even when you are wearing them and others in the room are not.

While N95 masks do in fact provide the best protection against the coronavirus because they fit tighter than cloth masks and are made using special material that was designed to block harmful particles such as droplets and aerosols, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed out that donning any mask is better than no mask at all.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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