Phase 2 of Nevada’s reopening is well underway and the latest directive has everyone wearing masks in public spaces.
This has been an adjustment for some and there has been a lot of information floating around and even some confusion about how effective a mask really is. Renown Health Infection Preventionist Amber Barney posted an article recently debunking five common myths about mask wearing.
#1: Do masks provide real protection from COVID-19?
Some people infected with COVID-19 will be asymptomatic, or have a stretch of time before showing any symptoms. This means that there is a possibility of spreading it to others when you have no idea that you have it. A mask provides a barrier to your mouth and nose that minimizes the spread droplets produced from talking, singing, coughing, and sneezing. These droplets can contaminate the airspace or environment around you, potentially spreading the virus to others in the same area. Masks also help to remind us not to touch our mouth and nose, just in case our hands have the virus on them or to spread the virus from our hands to additional surfaces.
#2: Can you cover just your mouth?
The fact of the matter is that your nose is a mucous membrane and falls in the same category as your mouth. Covering just one and not the other negates the effectiveness of the mask, so it’s important to cover both fully in order to prevent the spread and protect yourself. Infective droplets may also enter the body via the mouth and nose.
#3: Are there many medical conditions that prevent wearing a mask?
Almost everyone can safely and comfortably wear a mask. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that children under the age of 2 and anyone who needs medical assistance due to difficulty breathing, unconsciousness, or incapacitation should not use cloth face coverings. Certain mental health conditions such as severe claustrophobia or PTSD could also be cause to refrain from wearing a mask.
You don’t need a doctor’s note if you can’t wear a mask. Section 3 of Governor Sisolak’s mandate states that “persons exempted under this provision shall not be required to produce documentation verifying the condition.”
#4: If you’ve recovered from COVID-19, do you still need to wear a mask?
As of right now, doctors do not know if anyone who has previously had COVID-19 is immune from getting infected again. The best practice advised is to wear a mask.
#5: Do you still need to social distance if you wear a mask?
The CDC recommends that cloth coverings be worn in public settings when around those outside of their household, especially when unable to maintain physical distance. The combination of these efforts with hand hygiene and frequent disinfecting are the best practice to reduce transmission risk.
Bonus: Be kind and patient while wearing your mask.
As a member of the Reno community, I would like to thank you for wearing a mask and following the guidelines set out by the State of Nevada. We are all in this crisis together and must remember to be kind and practice patience. While we may not all agree on everything that is going on in the world, one thing we can agree on is keeping each other safe. Some people who are wearing a mask may experience barriers, for example those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Let’s all remember that this is OUR community and it’s our job to take care of each other.
Stay cool and stay kind!
Realtor® Sierra Nevada Properties