Experiments by a team in Hong Kong found that the coronavirus’ transmission rate via respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75% when surgical masks were used.
Note we are talking about surgical masks. (NOT N95 masks.) I was mystified when the US CDC insisted we not wear masks despite people who seemed to know a lot more about controlling the virus using them (ie Korea). Now I’m mystified by guidance from local health departments that people wear cloth masks when paper ones (albeit not name brand / hospital grade masks) are becoming readily available.
The team’s conclusion comes after months of conflicting information from world health bodies concerning masks. The World Health Organization has questioned their effectiveness outside of medical settings, while governments including those in the U.S. and U.K. initially urged citizens to leave them for health worker use, only to later make a U-turn and encourage widespread mask-wearing.