CDC Director Robert Redfield said the coronavirus curve could be flattened in the U.S. if everyone wore a mask for two months.
Said Redfield, in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner “The time is now. I think if we could get everybody to wear a mask right now I think in four, six, eight weeks we could bring this epidemic under control. I think we’re being very clear now. Now’s the time to wear a mask.”
The CDC published a new study on Tuesday after examining the case of two hairstylists in Missouri (Towleroad reported on it here) who exposed dozens of clients to coronavirus, none of whom got infected.
The study’s results led to the new recommendations, which are also endorsed by the World Health Organization: “With the potential for presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission, widespread adoption of policies requiring face coverings in public settings should be considered to reduce the impact and magnitude of additional waves of COVID-19.”
The L.A. Times also published an article on Tuesday backing up the CDC’s thinking: “There’s a common refrain that masks don’t protect you; they protect other people from your own germs, which is especially important to keep unknowingly infected people from spreading the coronavirus. But now, there’s mounting evidence that masks also protect you.”
The thinking is that masking prevents you from taking in a larger amount of particles than you would without it: “Breathing in a small amount of virus may lead to no disease or far more mild infection. But inhaling a huge volume of virus particles can result in serious disease or death.”