Millions of Americans are struggling with the idea of reopening schools.
Will masks be enough to protect our students and teachers? How can we help everyone stay healthy?
These are just a couple of the questions that are swarming around inside the minds of students and teachers as they brace themselves for school during a global pandemic.
The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has left many people skeptical and confused. At Quality Face Wear, our goal is to not only slow the spread of the virus, but the spread of confusion and misinformation as well. You‘ve voiced your hesitations and we’ve addressed them below.
Do masks work?
Research has shown that COVID-19 is transmitted via large respiratory droplets that are expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected individual when they talk, sneeze, or cough. When a sick person doesn’t wear a mask, these droplets travel long distances and are inhaled by healthy individuals, causing the virus to spread.
This information begs the question: why can’t we just mask the sick and tell them to stay home? Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it sounds for two main reasons:
- People who have contracted the virus can spread it for up to two weeks before their symptoms start.
- A significant number of people that test positive for COVID-19 never show any symptoms. In fact, a recent study published in Thorax showed that 81% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 never experienced any symptoms. These people are called “asymptomatic carriers” and can spread the virus unknowingly.
Given these facts, the only solutions to slowing the spread in schools are to:
- Force all parents to homeschool their children
- Mandate masks for students and teachers
The proof behind masks
The evidence that masks work is overwhelming. For example, this video shows the respiratory droplets expelled when a person speaks and how a mask blocks them from being spread.
One specific study took a peek at COVID-19 deaths in 198 different countries. Interestingly enough, the results of this study showed that countries with mask mandates had lower death rates.
Health Affairs published a study showing COVID-19 rates in 15 states (and the District of Columbia) with mask mandates before and after the requirements were implemented. Results showed that within the first five days, daily growth rate dropped nearly an entire percentage; and at three weeks, it decreased by 2%.
Another study showed the effectiveness of wearing a mask in slowing the spread of the common cold and influenza as an example of their capability.
With all of this overwhelming data, it’s easy to see why masks in schools are a necessity. Without a strict mask policy in place, an outbreak will occur and schools will be forced to shut down again.
What about the conflicting messages from the CDC and WHO?
Towards the beginning of the pandemic, the CDC and WHO recommended against the use of masks in slowing the spread of the Coronavirus. This was simply a prediction based off of a lack of widespread testing. Now that testing is more widespread, officials have been able to see just how contagious this virus is, and both organizations strongly urge the usage of some sort of face covering when leaving the house in order to stay healthy.
This shift in guidelines has left many Americans skeptical and confused. Unfortunately, given that this is a new virus, we can’t expect for scientists to have all the answers just yet. They’re learning just like us and have finally stockpiled enough evidence to prove that masks are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
While we wait for a vaccine, masks are the next best thing when it comes to helping our teachers and students stay healthy. In fact, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that if 95% of the population wore masks, 33,000 deaths could be avoided by October 1st.
What do we suggest?
Don’t let your school contribute to the rising number of deaths and positive test results. Use Quality Face Wear to order masks for your students or employees and get the lowest prices on the market. With soft and breathable material, free shipping, and customizable options, we’ve got you covered. Request a quote from us today!