When there is widespread infection, as there is with coronavirus in, say, New York City…
If I walk into a room with a group of people and they are all wearing masks, I am less likely to become infected than if they weren’t wearing masks.
Because more people in infection hot spots like NYC are likely to be shedding virus without knowing it. The masks help contain it.
We wear masks for other people, not ourselves (although in the end it does reduce our own risk of infection).
When everyone wears a mask, it slows transmission of virus.
The only reason I can think of for why a public health entity, like the CDC or Surgeon General, would discourage broad use of masks is to manage a mask shortage. The science says they are useful. They would be a cheap way of reducing transmission and thus flattening the curve.
Do you think if there was a surplus that the government would be screaming at us to “Stop Buying Masks!”
If the CDC, Surgeon General, et al are basing their recommendation on science when they say:
– That masks are ineffective at slowing rate of infection.
– That masks can increase rate of infection (because the public does not know how to wear one and presumably cannot be taught).
Then the government would never recommend wearing them. Right?