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Why Should We Wear Masks?

Source: Bahl P, Bhattacharjee S, de Silva C, et al

Simply put, wearing a mask protects everyone. If you wear a mask, you're protecting those around you and yourself. In a peer-reviewed study published in the Lancet, researchers found wearing a mask can reduce the risk of infection to the wearer by 65 percent.

Additionally, if you come into contact with someone that has COVID-19, a face mask can dramatically lower the dosage of the virus you inhale -called "viral load". A smaller viral load is linked to a smaller chance of developing serious symptoms if a person is infected. In turn, this means a smaller chance of long-term effects and a higher survivability rate.

Dean Blumberg, the chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital stated, “Everyone should wear a mask. People who say, ‘I don’t believe masks work,’ are ignoring scientific evidence. It’s not a belief system. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t believe in gravity.’ People who don’t wear a mask increase the risk of transmission to everyone, not just the people they come into contact with. It’s all the people those people will have contact with. You’re being an irresponsible member of the community if you’re not wearing a mask. It’s like double-dipping in the guacamole. You’re not being nice to others.”

Wearing a mask is not a political statement. It is not a sign of political allegiance. You may have seen memes or images shared on social media saying masks are ineffective. The reality of our times is that there is a very active effort of misinformation online. Please take time to check sources.

Masking up can even help our economy. Wearing a mask lowers the likelihood of a re-institution of lockdown measures we experienced at the beginning of this pandemic. In a study by investment firm Goldman Sachs, they found that a national face mask mandate could serve as a substitute for lockdowns “that would otherwise subtract nearly 5 percent from GDP [gross domestic product].”

The fact is... masks work.