Mask mandates have been lifted, but that doesn’t mean everyone is comfortable or can walk around safely without one just yet.
If you fall into that category, you may wonder if your mask is doing you any good when you’re seemingly the only person at the grocery store wearing one these days.
So, can masks work even if you’re the only one wearing them?
Here are the facts.
Masks protecting others
The main purpose of masks is to prevent the wearer from spreading COVID to other people. So, if your main concern is protecting high-risk people or children who can’t get vaccinated yet, continuing to wear a mask is the best way to go about this.
Masks protecting the wearer
While it’s been difficult to test the efficacy of masks given that it’s unethical to have someone go maskless for the sake of science, the CDC has published a study that proves their efficacy not only in protecting others, but the wearer as well.
This 1,800-subject study found that people who wore at least a cloth mask indoors were half as likely to test positive for COVID than those who did not wear masks. These findings align with lab studies on mask efficacy, which have shown that the majority of masks decrease particle movement both in and out.
The majority is emphasized because not all masks are created equal. While N95s are still the gold standard, certain cloth face masks can be very effective as well.
All masks protect the wearer to some degree, even if the people they’re interacting with are infected and not wearing one.
Whether you’re masking up to protect yourself or others, it’ll only be beneficial if the mask fits properly. That’s why at Quality Face Wear, we offer special add-ons for our cloth face masks like adjustable ear loops, multiple layers, and nose bridges to help them conform snugly and comfortably to your face. This will help prevent particles from flowing in and out, making the mask more efficient.
This, in combination with the effectiveness of your antibodies, either from natural infection, vaccination, or both, will protect you in most circumstances. You can find out just how protected you are against the original COVID strain and its variants with the Anzu Immunity Profile.
This surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT) is FDA/EUA approved and will give you actionable information about your level of immunity. Rather than spitting out a positive or negative result like most over-the-counter antibody tests, an SVNT will give you the exact percentage of functionable antibodies you have left. Click here to find a testing center near you.