Why Is It Important to Wear a Mask?

Wearing masks can help stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

Backpack? Check. School supplies? Check. Face mask? Check.

This year, back-to-school pictures look different. Why is it important to wear a mask right now? 

Wearing a face mask can help stop the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is short for Coronavirus Disease 2019. It is a new virus that has made a lot of people sick. COVID-19 spreads when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. Droplets from the infected person spread in the air. They can then land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. A mask blocks the droplets and stops them from spreading in the air.

A mask helps stop COVID-19 from spreading.

What if I don’t feel sick? Should I still wear a mask?

Yes. One thing scientists have learned is that many people who have COVID-19 don’t know they have it. They don’t have any symptoms. However, they could still spread the virus to other people. That’s why the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says everyone over two should wear a mask.

What Can You Do? Wearing a mask is one way to stay healthy and protect others. Here are some other things you can do:

  • Social distance. Stay at least six feet from others.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Photo Credit: (t)Travelerpix/Shutterstock, (b)Centers for Disease Control and Prevention