Everyone knows that the Coronavirus is out and spreading, and the natural response when a deadly disease is being spread is to protect ourselves and our loved ones. With the outbreak of COVID-19, social distancing and wearing masks has been the way that people, and the government, have chosen to protect themselves and others, but is this really the most effective way to stop or slow the spread of the virus? Let’s take a closer look.
In many areas of the country, it is mandatory that people wear a cloth face covering to enter businesses or other indoor gathering places. And while this may seem like an inconvenience, the CDC has made multiple statements attesting to the importance of wearing a face covering to prevent the spread. CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield made the following statement, “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus—particularly when used universally within a community setting.”
In another report by the CDC, they found that when two symptomatic hair stylists with confirmed cases of COVID-19 were in contact with other people while masked, all of the clients that were tested had negative test results for Coronavirus. The total number of clients tested was 67 of 139. While this study does show that there were many clients that day that were not tested for COVID-19, there were a significant number of people protected by the stylists wearing masks and therefore shows that masks are at least partially effective at protecting other people from COVID-19.
Social distancing is another safety precaution for stopping the spread of the Coronavirus that just seems like an inconvenience as people try to go about their daily activities. But social distancing is important to do alongside other preventative measures like wearing masks and washing your hands frequently.
Because the virus is thought to be spread through water droplets, such as those that accompany a sneeze, cough, or even just regular speech, standing at a distance from people can help limit or prevent people’s contact with the virus. At a six-foot distance from people, you lower the chances of the virus landing on their clothes, skin, or belongings, which they then touch to contaminate their hands. Once their hands are contaminated, any contact with the nose, mouth, or eyes could introduce the virus to their bodies. So, out of caution, social distancing is an important measure to protect other people.
While social distancing and wearing masks are both small inconveniences and added steps to our routine when we go out, they are important to protecting other people from the virus and have the potential to stop, or at least slow, the spread of the Coronavirus if everyone is dedicated to following the CDC’s recommendations. So remember to wash your hands, wear your mask, and keep a safe distance from people around you—just for a little while.