Update: The surgeon general says that the CDC guidance on masks has changed due to new evidence about coronavirus, including asymptomatic spread. He advises that you wash your hands thoroughly before putting you mask on and taking it off.
He stressed that social distancing must be maintained and N95 masks should be saved for medical workers.
On Sunday I made a post asking if it was time for the US and CDC to backtrack on their previous guidance of not using masks in public.
Sure enough, President Trump just announced in his daily press conference that the CDC now recommends that everyone should wear a mask or face cover when outside their home.
You can make your own cloth mask, use a scarf, or buy masks from Amazon here.
It’s a big about-face from previous CDC guidance that masks don’t help laymen and from what the US surgeon general said just a month ago:
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!
They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) February 29, 2020
Dilbert creator Scott Adams had it right in his response to that:
Face masks don't work, so please stop hoarding them or else medical professionals will not have access to the stuff that doesn't work.
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) March 4, 2020
You don’t need a surgical mask, even a homemade mask made like a scarf, or something made from a t-shirt can prevent the spread of droplets that pass coronavirus around. Plus it will stop people from touching their face when outside, which can spread coronavirus. Of course if that mask isn’t handled properly and disposed or laundered, it can cause more harm than good.
The key thing to remember is that regular surgical masks or cloth face covers don’t protect you from getting coronavirus, so social distancing is still needed. However if most people are wearing masks outside, it will slow the spread of droplets into the air that can pass coronavirus around.
Kudos to the Czech Republic for the #Masks4All campaign: