Among the major pandemics that the world has ever experienced, the effects of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will no doubt be memorable. Countless businesses were shut down globally, learning stopped, and Google Meet and Zoom calls became a lifestyle for millions of people worldwide. Among the significant changes that came with the onset of COVID-19 was the mandatory wearing of face masks, intended to help stop the transmission of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes Coronavirus disease.
However, after many trials, there’s good news: people can now be vaccinated, and the spread of COVID has significantly reduced. People have learned to adapt to new ways of working. Pharmacy products to build strong immunity have become typical sights in family grocery lists. At the same time, the mandatory wearing of masks continues to be lifted in different parts of the world. However, this has triggered lots of confusion around if and when to put on your mask because governments are still urging even the vaccinated to continue wearing them and adhere to other safety measures.
If you’re experiencing mask exhaustion, then you’re probably not alone. However, here are four great reasons why it’s perhaps an excellent idea to keep wearing your mask in public places and crowded areas.
- An Extra Shield Against Coronavirus Disease
Even though the number of people losing their lives due to COVID is still on the rise, the death rates have become slower. For this reason, some fully vaccinated individuals may become complacent. However, it is important to remember that getting vaccinated does not make anyone completely immune to the virus. The possibility of still being infected with COVID-19 differs in terms of an area’s geography, population, and the adherence of the members of the community to safety protocols.
And because not everybody evaluates their personal risk by the same token, it’s probably a good idea why you should avoid practically any risk. Therefore, wear your mask at home, outdoors, and during gym classes as an added layer of protection.
- Enhance Efficiency Of Vaccines
After receiving the recommended dose of a vaccine, the body produces antibodies. However, people with specific medical conditions might not produce or have enough antibodies even if they get injected.
Patients whose immune system defences are low due to chronic disease or therapy, for instance, cancer patients, diabetes patients, or organ transplant recipients, might not stage an effective response compared to people with normal immune systems.
Even though COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be very effective, such people should continue to wear masks, especially in crowded places, to minimize their risk further. Such underlying conditions could blow a hole in their recovery if they catch the virus.
- Avoid Allergies and Respiratory Diseases
Catching flu or cold is one of the worst feelings. The constant headaches that won’t go away and a stuffy nose can be an absolute nightmare. However, the good news is that besides preventing the spread of COVID-19, masks can also play a significant part in preventing respiratory viruses, for instance, those that cause the common cold and flu.
Even before the pandemic, children and adults with medical conditions that can weaken the immune system are advised to wear masks in public spaces; that is proof that the science behind mask-wearing is strong.
What’s more, a mask might also come in handy for individuals who experience chronic allergies. Wearing a mask will filter the air and reduce the number of allergens being breathed in.
- Be A Role Model
This is especially important for parents who have already received the jab. Choosing to wear a mask is a way to model good behaviour for their kids who are still too young to get the vaccine but are still obligated to wear their masks in public places and at school. The same goes for households or caretakers of persons who, for different causes, can’t get immunized.
Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or the booster shot isn’t a programmed off switch for the virus. As much as millions worldwide would like to have optimism that the shot means a direct ticket to normal, we’re yet to get there. It’s not irrational to have that kind of hope; however, the world is on course. To end the pandemic, it shouldn’t be a choice between wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and vaccines, but to combine these methods to work best as a team. If you’re healthy and you’ve already received your shot and the booster shot, good for you; the risk of being extremely sick due to COVID-19 is minimal. So, wherever you are in the world, do your part for the benefit of all.
By Mike Dale, a community health expert. He has worked for more than 15 years in different communities focusing on infectious diseases.
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