(TargetLiberty.org) – The coronavirus outbreak is sweeping the nation and showing no signs of slowing down. Millions of people have been ordered to stay home and the economy is in a free fall. Could wearing masks be the answer after all?
According to the CDC, only N95 respirators are able to protect healthy people and prevent them from catching the virus. Surgical masks can’t. However, they can help prevent sick people from spreading the disease.
Slowing Down the Outbreak
There has also been a lot of talk about asymptomatic people spreading the disease. These people are infected with the coronavirus while showing no symptoms, so they don’t even know they’re carrying the virus. They can still spread the virus to others, however.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, millions of people are being told shelter in place because social distancing and self-quarantining are, currently, our only weapons against this invisible enemy. Non-essential businesses across the country have been forced to close their doors. While some people can work from home, not all can. As a result, jobless claims are skyrocketing.
Experts say that this outbreak could last for several months. Clearly, this way of life is not sustainable as Americans cherish their freedom a great deal. Many want to be able to work and feed their families without living in fear.
Is there a way to protect public health without sacrificing our civil liberties?
Masks Might Be the Solution
Requiring people to wear masks in public spaces could slow the spread of the virus while still allowing Americans to move freely and continue living their lives.
By wearing surgical masks, those who are not yet showing symptoms or who are completely asymptomatic would be less likely to infect others. Many of these asymptomatic people are young and healthy. They could continue to work instead of sitting at home twiddling their thumbs waiting for the storm to blow over. This could help save the economy from complete collapse.
People in countries such as China already wear masks regularly to prevent the spread of disease. That may be more difficult here in the US because we are currently facing a shortage. Doctors and nurses don’t have access to enough masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and gowns. In desperation, they’re turning to homemade masks and some are even using garbage bags to protect themselves.
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that America will have to find some way to keep the public safe from the disease without infringing further on our freedoms. The US can’t just force its people to stay in their homes indefinitely. Masks could be the solution to many of our problems until a vaccine is developed.
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