Conclusions from Organizations
The World Health Organization (WHO):
“Advice to decision makers on the use of masks for healthy people in community settings
As described above, the wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks.”
“Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers. The use of medical masks in the community may create a false sense of security, with neglect of other essential measures, such as hand hygiene practices and physical distancing, and may lead to touching the face under the masks and under the eyes, result in unnecessary costs, and take masks away from those in health care who need them most, especially when masks are in short supply.”
“Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.”
WHO acknowledges that most people do not use masks properly.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases:
“We don’t routinely recommend the use of face masks by the public to prevent respiratory illness,” said on January 31. “And we certainly are not recommending that at this time for this new virus.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
In March 5, 2019 regarding the flu: “Masks are not usually recommended in non-healthcare settings; however, this guidance provides other strategies for limiting the spread of influenza viruses in the community:
- cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing,
- use tissues to contain respiratory secretions and, after use, to dispose of them in the nearest waste receptacle, and
- perform hand hygiene (e.g., handwashing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, and alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
From the New England Journal of Medicine
“We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”