If everyone wears a mask, community transmission will be much reduced, and the pandemic will die out.
When most of us coughed or sneezed, we could project droplets to as far as six feet or more, depending on whether we were looking up, looking straightahead or looking down when we did so. While most droplets are not visibly detected beyond about 3 feet, studies from the last SARS outbreak of 2003 suggested that droplets from patients with these two infections could reach persons located 6 feet or more from their source“. The larger the droplets, the further it went.
With the incubation period being about 5 days on average, meaning someone could be completely without any symptoms on average 5 days after being infected him or herself, he/she could go on and infect so many others around them during this time period, including their loved ones. In China and Italy, 70-80% of transmission occured with the family.
To slow the spread, we should wear a mask, regardless of symptoms.
Graph Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society A
As the above suggests, we all will benefit when the vast majority of us has access to and wear a high-quality masks properly, and all the time, regardless of symptoms. R0 will be reduce to less than 1, and the pandemic will die out.
- Provide a mask to all of your staff and employees to limit exposure between them, and protect your clients
- Provide your clients with a mask to wear upon entering the premise to protect your employees, and fellow clients
- Ask the business’ employees to wear a mask for your protection
- Wear a mask yourself prior to entering to protect the employees, and fellow shoppers
Making your own mask?
You can make it even better with pockets in your homemade masks for insertion of a removable filter. The Taiwanese tailor shop Button Tree’s Facebook Page has detailed instructions in English on how to make such a mask as below.
Dr Chen Xiaoting, an anesthesiologist in Taiwain, share this instructions to use microfiber non-woven fabric as the filtering middle layer. This is what makes the mask so much better than a regular fabric mask without this filter. This “filter” could be any non-woven material: non-woven gauze, sterilization wrapper, paper towels, facial tissue paper, or even toilet paper. Do not use vaccum cleaner bags due to presence of fiberglass fibers.
Image Credit: The United Nations