Wear A Face Mask: The Life You Save May Be Your Own

It is now beyond dispute that wearing whatever face protection you can find is the single most important step we can take AS INDIVIDUALS to flatten the curve of the epidemic….but until recently, The World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control, and members of the Trump administration argued strenuously that you did not need to wear a face mask when going out in public and, in fact, that you should not wear them at all.
There were several reasons that these opinion makers put out this opinion:
  • A shortage of N95 respirators made it appear imperative to discourage non-medical personnel from buying up all off the available N95 respirators on the market.
  • Anyone who became ill after following that advice might have a cause of action against the government for having issued bad advice
  • The government was attempting to conceal the fact that we didn’t have enough protective equipment for our medical personnel
  • The government (which, for all intents and purposes, means the Trump administration) did not have the means to ramp up production of the face masks because most of them come from overseas, and mostly from China.
  • Some people believed that, if everyone started to wear face masks, that this would contribute to the general hysteria (which might, in fact, have been a good thing.)
  • The abject denial of an obvious fact that a very serious epidemic was spreading around the world.

There were – and there still are several very important reasons why it is imperative that you wear face masks whenever  you go out in public:

  • To avoid spreading the infection when you have not yet become ill and do not  know that you are carrying the Covid-19 virus.
  • To avoid inhaling particles of the virus in the ambient atmosphere around someone else who is distributing particles of the virus.
  • To remind you not to touch your face when your hands might be contaminated with the virus.

However, regardless of the source  of the contagion, wearing face protection was always the obvious solution. The reality is that regions where everyone was advised to don face protection have fared much better so far than the regions that have rejected face masks for all.

Over the past 48 hours, this advice has changed.  As of April 1, the advice about face masks on the CDC website reads:”CDC does not recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings (in the community).”

By phrasing this new, changed advice in the negative, the CDC is hoping to avoid the scrutiny and criticism the agency much deserves for having issued this advice in the first place, and for reiterating it over and over again,  but the NEW advice is crystal clear: WEAR FACE MASK IN WORKPLACE SETTINGS. This means that anyone entering any workplace should be wearing face protection, regardless of whether they are employees, customers, guests or patients. This means you should be wearing face masks in supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, take out food sources, and everywhere else you need to go on a daily basis. Admittedly, the CDC statement doesn’t actually say that explicitly but why would you walk into a place of business where the employees were wearing face masks without putting one on yourself?
(There is, by the way, no good reason for not wearing face masks when you are out in the open air because, while it is much more difficult to catch the virus that way, it isn’t impossible., It  is also safer to put the mask on and leave it  on until you return to a safe environment because removing the mask and putting it on again increases your risk of contagion if there are spoors from the virus on the mask itself.)

Nevertheless, even though the CDC’s new advice is crystal clear, employers are still are still resisting this common-sense measure in retail, wholesale and manufacturing environments.In some cases, they have refused to provide face masks to their employees. It other cases, they have forbidden their employees to wear face masks at work in positions where they are face to face with customers.  The employers are still citing the old CDC advice, even though it is out of date.


If you walk into a place of business where the employees are not wearing face masks, don’t shop there because you are shopping in a hazardous environment. You might also want to tell the manager of the store that you are not shopping there specifically because they have created an unsafe environment for their workers and for their customers.

If the CD and the WHO had told everyone to wear face masks, we would not be facing the massive economic dislocations that are in the process of destroying the world economy because the epidemic would have been nipped in the bud, which makes the economic aspect of this crisis A SELF-INFLICTED WOUND.
Yes, there is still a risk involved in going out, even with a good face mask, but that risk would be greatly diminished. Some people might contract Covid-19 but it has already been established that the place where people are most often infected with the virus is AT HOME because other family members bring it home with them when they have to go out.
When the history of this epidemic is written, this will turn out to have been the single most harmful piece of advice that was ever given out during this period because it is, in fact, the ONLY thing that people could do to protect themselves and each other

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