Do Masks Work?

As we all know, 2020 has had some massive changes in store for humanity. Without a doubt, the biggest of these changes is learning to live with the Coronavirus. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, almost the whole world has been put on pause, which has been disastrous. Many businesses have failed, leaving thousands of unemployed citizens that already had money problems in serious trouble. Those that are still employed also have to learn to adapt. It is imperative that we get back to normal before our economy completely collapses, and wearing masks is one of the best things we can do to help.


Much of the population has cooperated with the rules and has worn masks in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus; however, the question that gnaws in the minds of all mask wearers is, “Does this even do anything?”. There is a simple answer to that question, and it is yes, masks do help slow the spread of Coronavirus. While masks are helpful, the average mask comes with ups and downs, and they are far from perfect. “A surgical mask… protects the wearer’s nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes, and sprays that may contain germs…  also filters out large particles in the air.” These masks are perhaps the most common type of mask currently available, and they are easy and cheap to make or buy. While they do have an effect, small particles can still get through with ease, making it more likely that a surgical mask will keep you from spreading the Coronavirus rather than keeping you from getting the Coronavirus.


There are other types of masks used as well, one of the more known being the N95 masks. Unlike surgical masks, N95 masks are largely successful in filtering out small particles, with a 95% success rate. Still, there are many uncertainties and questions regarding these masks, like “Can it filter out the Coronavirus?” or “Does a 95% success rate mean that one out of every 20 breaths will result in failure?”. Plus, N95 masks aren’t very common as there seems to be a bit of a shortage in the states currently. 


Another well-known type of mask is the cloth masks, which specialize in making sure that people who have not realized that they have the Coronavirus have a more difficult time passing it on to those around them. When you think about it from a scientific standpoint, masks are great. However, when you think about it, you can see many holes in this solution that make wearing masks unreliable. By wearing masks, many people are under the illusion that they are safe from the Coronavirus, meaning that they will probably spend more time unisolated, ultimately defeating any results that masks have. Many countries in Europe have been very strict about mask-wearing policies, yet they still have monstrous amounts of both cases and deaths. Although wearing a mask helps a lot, the best thing to do is isolate as much as possible. There is also another option that involves not destroying the global economy and dumping billions of dollars of debt on younger generations who had no say in the matter. Many are calling it “pulling a Sweden.” This mindset involves merely carrying on as usual and not being scared of a little cough.