Wearing a Mask is a Sign of Altruism and Solidarity



A newly published paper outlines why we should wear masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic and how our thinking about masks has changed in the past couple of months.


Before Now
Healthy individuals do not need to wear masks. Everybody should wear a mask. COVID-19 can be spread by ​you, even if you are asymptomatic. Masks protect others from your respiratory droplets.
There is a shortage of masks. Masks should be reserved for health-care workers. In order to control the infection source, cloth masks are adequate, especially if everyone wears a mask. Cloth masks can be easily manufactured or made at home and reused after washing.
Mask wearing could engender a false sense of security in relation to other methods of infection control such as social distancing and handwashing. There is no evidence that individuals who wear masks forego other methods of infection control.


The authors conclude that wearing a mask shifts the focus from self-protection to altruism, actively involves every citizen, and is a symbol of social solidarity in the global response to the pandemic.


Source: Cheng, Lam, & Leung (2020). Wearing face masks in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic: altruism and solidarity. Lancet, April 16 [Epub ahead of print].

Read the paper at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7162638/

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