It’s an almost perfect safety device. It’s inexpensive, easy to install, can be used multiple times and is even a versatile fashion statement.
What’s more, it can save your life or that of someone you love.
More than 4,700 Georgians have died of COVID-19. There’s 4,700 reasons to wear a mask, and not a single good reason not to.
Since March, health officials around the world have been desperately urging people out in public places to wear masks that cover their noses and mouths. By now the reasons ought to be universally understood: COVID-19 is most commonly spread by droplets emitted into the air when we cough, sneeze, sing or even just talk. Stopping exhalations at the source will protect those around us. When others do the same thing, we ourselves become protected.
Has there ever been a more mutually beneficial deal?
This nearly perfect preventive tool gets even closer to perfect when combined with several other safety habits:
- Maintain a six-foot distance from others (the droplets can only travel so far),
- Wash hands as often as possible when out and about (the virus can be cleansed away),
- Avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth.
So why doesn’t everyone wear a mask when out and about? If everyone carrying the virus looked or acted sick, we probably would. But COVID-19 is often hard to detect. Perfectly healthy-looking people may be infected and thereby be a threat to everyone around them. You can’t tell until it’s too late. Wearing a mask reduces that danger considerably.
Some people should not wear a mask. A child under the age of two, for example. Or a hearing-impaired person who depends on lipreading to communicate. Or someone swimming or bathing.
Not all masks are the same. Those with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material. According to studies by the CDC, this type of mask does nothing to prevent the wearer from transmitting the deadly droplets.
Those of us who have lost jobs, or suffered business losses or worried anxiously about sending our children back to school need to know that the economy and the pandemic are inseparable twins of suffering. Without knocking down the disease, we simply can’t restore our economy. It’s that simple.
It’s up to all of us to do the right thing. That starts with wearing a mask and encouraging others to do the same
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About Get Georgia Well
A joint project by The Metro Atlanta Chamber, Central Atlanta Progress and The Georgia Hospital Association. Get Georgia Well is a group of business leaders, community leaders, and volunteers who urgently want to stop the spread of COVID-19 and return Georgia to a healthy state, both for our people and our economy. Its focus is to urge people to change simple behaviors to protect the health of themselves and their loved ones. Stay engaged by following Get Georgia Well on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. #MaskUpGA | https://getgawell.com/