As we begin moving back into person-to-person interaction, wearing a mask or face covering is one excellent way to show everyone you encounter that you value their health as much as your own.

As you know, the CDC recommends wearing a fabric face covering when in public settings where physical distance is difficult to maintain, like grocery stores. This is a big thing for Americans who are not accustomed to having an alien garment in front of their face. Humans are inherently facially expressive and mask-wearing challenges the ways we communicate.

Watching communities address how best to slow the Covid-19 spread has felt like being a participant in a monumental social experiment. Scientists have given us some data to work with and the main takeaway is that wearing a mask is a low-cost way to stem the transmission of the virus. A fabric face mask is not a substitute for an N-95 mask but most of us are going to be interacting in situations that are lower risk than our front line workers. Wearing something over your nose and mouth will minimize your viral exposure as well as for those around you.

Some Mask Tips I've Learned Along the Way:

  • Own several masks so it's easy to have a fresh one when you go out. They are easy to misplace.
  • Find masks that have a dense weave or use a triple layer.
  • Handle with care and try to avoid touching areas of your mask that could be contaminated, namely around your face. Then wash your hands after removing the mask.

It is the feeling of scientist around the world that it is our lowest-cost step to slow the transmission of this virus and save lives. Face coverings should not make you complacent but should be used in combination with stringent hand washing and physical distancing measures.

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