Why should people wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic?

There is no dispute that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm. In a matter of months life as we knew it changed drastically not only for individuals or countries but on a global scale. Things we considered part of everyday life such as our 9 – 5 job at an office, sending our kids to school, going to the grocery store, spending time with friends and family suddenly held a health risk not only to ourselves but also to those around us. 

Although the list of challenges associated with the pandemic goes on and on, the positives are also worth mentioning. Due to the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is a global pandemic, it has resulted in unity between people, countries, continents, and ultimately, the entire world. 

Scientific discoveries and breakthroughs have been made, realignment and refocusing of businesses, innovation, creativity are only a few of the positive outcomes of the pandemic. In this time, the Rethink Reusable Surgical Mask was developed and launched by the Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company. 

If there is one thing that 2020 highlighted it is that the average person cares. Wearing masks, washing hands – either by choice or legislation, we all took up our responsibility to protect the people we engage with

Having said all that, the question on your mind still is: Why should I wear a mask? What is the science behind wearing a mask? Am I really protecting myself and others by wearing a mask? 

The simple answer is – YES – wearing a mask protects you and those around you. Let’s get into the science. The COVID-19 virus is transmitted by respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, talking or breathing. The role of the mask is to reduce spreading these droplets in an infected person and reduce inhalation of these droplets by the people around that person. As you can imagine, the community benefit from masking is at its best when everyone wears a mask, both the infected and uninfected. 

There has been a lot of controversy on wearing a mask since the start of the pandemic. Some say the reason for the controversy is due to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and WHO (World Health Organization) changing their guidelines on wearing a mask a few months into the pandemic. When the virus started spreading the guidelines set by the CDC and WHO didn’t include wearing a mask. It was only later revealed that the reason they didn’t recommend wearing a face mask to the general public from the start wasn’t because wearing a mask was considered ineffective but rather because they were considering availability of face masks for health workers and frontline workers. As the number of cases increased, it soon became evident that everybody needs to wear a mask, which resulted in people and businesses taking initiative to design, make and sell masks across the world. 

The truth of the matter is that wearing a mask to prevent COVID-19 infection is not 100% effective. Nobody can guarantee that if you wear a mask you will not be infected but it is one of the most effective ways we have to reduce infection. This is also one of the main reasons we decided to create the Rethink Reusable Surgical Mask with nanofiber technology. The Rethink Reusable Surgical Mask Filter has greater than 95% bacterial and particle filtration efficiency. Using the Rethink Reusable Surgical Mask Filter in your cloth mask increases the mask’s efficacy and decreases the chance of infection. 

If you combine wearing a mask with social distancing, washing your hands, good hygienic practices, avoiding crowds and crowded places, good ventilation and covering your coughs and sneezes you can decrease the risk of infection significantly. Therefore, if the question is why should you wear a mask? The answer is to protect yourself and reduce potential COVID-19 infection. 

Let’s rise together and take care of ourselves and those around us by wearing a mask.