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Wear a Face Mask! Make a Face Mask!

A growing number of studies point to the mask as a powerful tool that can help control the spread of the coronavirus.

1. Masks protect other people

The primary way the coronavirus spreads is from person to person by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Face masks, however, can block these droplets. They act as a barrier to keep virus-containing particles from escaping an infected individual and landing on another person. Without a mask, droplets traveled more than 2 meters. A bandanna cut the distance to 1 meter, and a folded cotton handkerchief reduced that distance less than half meter.

2. You may not realize you are contagious

It used to be that masks were recommended only for people who knew they had COVID-19, as a way to protect others around them. When it became apparent, however, that the virus can be transmitted by people before they start showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) and by people who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic).

Some studies, including a paper recently published in the journal Nature, have found that over 40 percent of people with coronavirus infections never develop symptoms of COVID-19. This makes it extremely difficult to know who may be a potential transmitter of the virus. That is why wearing a mask, even if you believe you are healthy, is recommended both by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO). It's one way to help prevent unknowingly spreading the virus to others. It is social responsibility.

3. Masks can protect you, as well

A few studies suggest cloth face masks offer some protection for the wearer too, but the protective perks are most obvious when everyone covers the mouth and nose. Think of it as a collective benefit: The more people who block the transmission of the virus with face coverings, the less virus there is circulating in the community. This reduces everyone's risk for infection. A few studies highlight the power of widespread community use of face coverings. A report published in Health Affairs, for example, found that states with face mask mandates had a greater decline in daily COVID-19 growth rates compared with states that did not issue mandates.

For making masks on your own, please find below some sample instructions:

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