Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of medical supplies and equipment has put a strain on the United State’s healthcare system.
With the uncertainty of how the pandemic would affect the country, thousands of people stocked up on supplies that were deemed essential, including medical supplies.
Health officials urged the general public to avoid wearing masks because they’re not effective in preventing the coronavirus. The United States Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, even went on record, claiming masks “are NOT effective in preventing the general public from catching the virus.”
In addition, The World Health Organization wants individuals to only wear masks if you are taking care of a person suspected of having the virus.
However, according to the Washington Post, there’s significant scientific evidence to debunk both claims. Not only does the evidence fail to support the U.S Surgeon General and WHO claim, but it also reportedly contradicts it.
Countries like Hong Kong, Mongolia, South Korea, and Taiwan, who have direct contact and economic ties with China, the epicenter of the pandemic, have been able to slow the spread of the virus.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.”
Fast.Ai, a data-focused institute, has found 34 pieces of scientific evidence, indicating basic masks can be effective in slowing the virus transmission in public. Not one shred of evidence shows otherwise.
Studies have proven that in controlled environments, individuals who were a mask rarely pass germs or viruses to others. And those without masks more easily infect others or risk becoming infected themselves.
Many Americans have created DIY masks using a simple household item like a t-shirt to create effective face masks.
The effectiveness of a DIY mask has been officially accepted for hospital use after the shortage of N95 masks pushed healthcare workers to create their own homemade masks. If these homemade masks can be used in a hospital, it’s good enough for a walk in the store.
According to WHO, their advice about mask-wearing is based not on science, but rather on three policy arguments. One, there are not enough masks for hospital workers. Two, masks may become contaminated and increase the risk of infection to people wearing them, and lastly, masks may encourage people to engage in risky situations.
In the Czech Republic, social media influencers campaigned for people to start creating their own DIY mask, and within three days, there were enough masks for everyone in the country.
When the social distance order forced a small bar in Prague, the country’s capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, to close, its owner, Stefan Olejar, turned his bar into a mask manufacturing facility. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
He was able to obtain several sewing machines with the help of his community, and he’s now producing 400 cotton masks per day. The bar has ten employees and the ability to deliver masks to people who are not able to leave their homes.
There are “mask trees” on street corners throughout the country, where people in the communities can hang up masks that they’ve created so others can take them.
The message in the Czech Republic is this, ”My mask protects you, your mask protects me.”
Wearing a mask in the Czech Republic is now considered positive social behavior. Going outside without one is considered an antisocial action that puts people at risk.
The use of masks alone is not enough to stop the spread of the virus, but restrictions on movement and large gatherings need to stay in place until the healthcare system is able to effectively handle the situation. There also needs to be a foolproof contact tracing system, adequate testing sites, and proper quarantine procedures for those mildly infected.
The reaction of the people in the Czech Republic has been so strong since the community took it upon themselves to protect one another, that it is now illegal to go out in public without a mask.
The universal call for everyone to wear a mask should be important to the solution, and every single one of us should make it happen.