An actual sneeze photographed by James Gathany. From the CDC.
A typical sneeze or cough releases many tens of thousands of tiny droplets that, like dust, linger in the air.
Airborne COVID-19 virus has been shown to remain infective for many hours.
As you stand in line at the grocery store, you are likely to inhale droplets from many people who were there during the past few hours.
Wearing a homemade mask that covers your nose and mouth means you spread spit less. This means you transmit COVID-19 less. This doesn't replace social distancing, it just makes everyone safer during unavoidable encounters. Think of the mask like a seatbelt, and social distancing as not driving drunk.
This doesn't take masks away from medical professionals. Our medical professionals badly need N95 masks for their important and dangerous work. They need these masks more than we do — but wearing a bandanna or a homemade mask helps protect all our lives, including the lives of the nurses, doctors, and paramedics on the front lines of this battle. #wearanymask #masks4all
Is a homemade mask as good as an N95 mask? No. Is it better than nothing? Yes. What are Americans typically wearing? Nothing. What are Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese citizens typically wearing? Masks. And those countries are getting ahead of COVID-19.
Wear a mask in public — in the grocery store, at the laundromat, in the park. This not only protects those around you, it helps make masks seem normal. This is important.
Post pictures or testimonials to #wearanymask, wearing the masks you made or found or have. We need examples of us thriving, living life, doing the best we can — with our noses and mouths covered.
Every time you put on your mask, you potentially save the life of an at-risk family member or neighbor. Every time you persuade someone else to wear a mask, you potentially save many lives.
Printable QR code poster
Wearable QR code tag
Last modified: 28 March 2020