Doctors Stress Importance of Mask Use

Masks play crucial role in returning to some form of normal

mask use

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Doctors in Western New York continue to emphasize mask wearing as an essential piece of re-opening businesses and other parts of normal life.

However, after mixed messages during the opening weeks of the pandemic, many still question the effectiveness of mask wearing while in public.

Why do masks help?

“The new Coronavirus is really a respiratory virus with its primary mode of spread being from person to person through respiratory droplets,” said Dr. Tom Russo, Chief of Infectious Diseases at the Jacobs School of Medicine.

Because of this, masks may be a critical piece of safely getting back to business.

“If people that are infectious are wearing masks, they are going to minimize the generation of those infectious aerosols. If people not infected are wearing masks, it will provide a next layer of protection,” Russo said. “It’s not going to prevent all cases, but it will prevent the majority of cases.”

“The masks that people are making at home are probably not going to filter every viral particle, but they’re very good at preventing large droplet transmission,” said Dr. John Kane from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “So if you cough or sneeze or someone else coughs and sneezes, it’s very unlikely you’re going to get a large amount of droplets.”

Knowing that the virus can be spread by people with no symptoms makes masks especially important.

“The reason why it’s become more important in decreasing the spread, is because some people may not have symptoms and not know it,” Dr. Joseph Chow, Medical Director at WNY Immediate Care said. “If you’re feeling completely well and feel like you don’t have to wear a mask, that’s not necessarily true. You may be asymptomatic but feeling well enough that you don’t think you can spread it, but you still could.”

“The people who are feeling well, it is important that they wear a mask too. It’s best to mask everybody until we have a better handle on it.” Chow said.

For those reasons, Chow believes that masks are generally here to stay, even when we return to some form of normal.

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