The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

Myth #1: Masks don’t help prevent the coronavirus

April 18, 2020

Fact: Masks are an effective preventative measure against coronavirus.

The World Health Organization (W.H.O.) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) falsely stated that regular surgical masks did not help prevent a healthy person from catching COVID-19, but rather only helped sick people prevent spreading the disease to others. This information was parroted to the American public by several politicians and health experts, including Surgeon General Jerome Adams. 

However, this information was spread in an effort to prevent overzealous, concerned citizens from hoarding masks and creating a shortage for healthcare workers. 

On Friday, April 3, the C.D.C. retracted its previous claims by declaring that cloth masks should be worn “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.” Experts have shown that the virus can spread through talking and breathing, not just coughing, so covering your mouth will hinder the spread of the virus. And while masks aren’t 100 percent effective, they result in a lower viral load upon infection, which means your immune system has to fight off less of the virus in its initial stages. For example, places like Hong Kong and Taiwan have much lower infection and death rates despite significant travel from China because they required all citizens to wear masks early on. There has also been an increasing trend of asymptomatic people who are unaware that they are sick, but are still transmitting the virus to others. Thus, everyone should wear masks to mitigate the chances of asymptomatic people unknowingly infecting others.  

So if you do go to a public place, please wear a mask. Even if you don’t have any masks available, a homemade mask is better than nothing, so we’ve linked a few resources below to help you make a mask at home:

DIY No Sew Face Mask

5 quick, no sew ideas for face masks

Reusable, washable face mask

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