Do Face Masks Work asks the New Scientist Magazine!
As cases of covid-19 continue to rise, many people are choosing to wear a face mask when out in public – but do they work?
Guidance on face masks varies wildly among international health bodies and governments. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently only recommends face masks for people who are coughing or sneezing, or for those who are caring for people who are suspected to have covid-19.
In some places like Lombardy, the worst hit region of Italy, face masks are mandatory. The UK government doesn’t recommend widespread use of them, while as of 3 April, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people wear “cloth face coverings” when they go out – and even provide instructions for how to make one.
Part of the reason for recommending homemade face masks is to reserve the limited supplies of medical face masks for healthcare workers, some of whom have had to resort to covering up with bin bags, snorkels and office supplies bought from craft stores due to shortages.