Masks Protect the Wearer, Not Just Others, CDC Says

There are more reasons than ever to wear a mask, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Masks provide some coronavirus protection to the wearer, not just to others, the CDC says in an A “Face masks required” sign is displayed at a shopping center in Schaumburg, Ill., Nov. 13, 2020.Evolving adviceAdvice has changed over time as scientists have learned more over the course of the pandemic.Health officials initially had discouraged people from wearing masks. There was not much evidence at the time that they would help.Also, when the first cases in the United States appeared in late January, people began hoarding surgical masks and N95 respirators. It created shortages of critical protective gear for front-line health care workers.”Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams wrote on Twitter in February.  “They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if health care providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching Pedestrians wearing face masks walk in Ankara on Nov. 13, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. Turkey made wearing masks in public areas mandatory in September.The time is nowThe People wearing face masks walk on a street, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Shanghai, China, Nov. 13, 2020.Behind the curveBut some say the CDC has been too slow to respond to new information. The agency was criticized for how long it took to recognize that the virus could spread through airborne transmission.And it has not been promoting the full potential of masks to slow the pandemic, said Harvard University epidemiologist Michael Mina.”We know masks work,” he said, the only question has been how well.Mina compares them to wearing seat belts.”When you get in a car accident, does it mean everyone who gets in a car accident will survive because they’re wearing a seat belt or have an airbag? Absolutely not,” he said. “But we know it cuts risk.””The CDC has just been behind on this,” he added.

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