What we know:
According to Mayo Clinic, face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the SARS-cov2 Coronavirus. At first, we did not know how contagious the SARS-cov2 Coronavirus was, nor whether it could be spread when people were without symptoms, but test positive for it. We now know that wearing a mask when we cannot maintain adequate social distance in public and when spending time with people outside of our families, along with frequent hand hygiene, and social distancing, when possible, can slow the spread of the disease.
What about special cases?
Children: Infants and children under 2 are not recommended to wear face coverings. This means the social distancing and hand hygiene are even more important. Especially when you remember how much small children love to touch and hug. They become cuddly vectors of disease if we are not careful.
Those who cannot handle a mask: people with asthma, emphysema, or issues that make wearing a mask almost impossible – like PTSD or claustrophobia – can try alternate items like a face shield or being extraordinarily careful with increased social distancing and hand hygiene.
Good things to remember.
Cloth face masks need to be at least two layers of cloth. Masks should be washed daily. Imagine that everybody else’s germs are on the outside and yours are on the inside … try not to touch them except by the ear loops. Remember, masks to not replace social distancing or good hand hygiene, we encourage all three.
Disclaimer: This column is not intended as a diagnosis or recommended treatment of a specific condition. Answers are not a replacement for an individual medical evaluation. Individual health concerns should be evaluated by a licensed clinician.