When the coronavirus outbreak first started a couple of months ago, one of the first preventive measures that people are encouraged to do is to wear face masks. And while the science as to why face masks are important in keeping a person safe from coronavirus hasn’t changed, public guidance around it may be shifting towards a different direction.
Do You Need A Mask?
This is because back on Tuesday, current U.S. President Trump said that Americans can use scarves as makeshift protective masks. In fact, even before Trump’s comment, a growing number of Americans are already opting to cover their noses and mouths with makeshift masks, such as bandannas, handkerchiefs and, of course, scarves.
“You can use a scarf. A lot of people have scarves. There is certainly no harm to it. I would say do it rather than going out to get a mask,” President Trump said during a news conference at the White House.
Ultimately, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also maintains that if you’re a healthy individual, wearing a mask is still unnecessary. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that health officials are actually trying to change that guideline.
“Given the fact that there is a degree of transmission from asymptomatic individuals who may not know that they’re infected, we need to at least examine the possibility, as long as we’re absolutely certain we don’t take the masks away from who are health care providers who need them. It doesn’t need to be a classical mask. But something that would have someone prevent them from infecting others. This is actively being looked at,” Fauci said in a recent interview with NBC.
Per Fauci, the potential change includes do-it-yourself masks made from fabric, unlike the type that is used by health care workers that are more exposed to the virus.
However, as the virus is spread dominantly through respiratory droplets, there is no scientific evidence that face coverings are enough to help flatten the curve. In fact, whether it has any effect at all is still up for debate at the moment.