How Effective Will Universal Masking Be?

“It goes beyond just potentially preventing some infections"

Masks worn out in public

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The Governor’s Executive Order that requires everyone to wear a mask while in a public setting goes in to effect on Friday. Will it help to stop the spread?

Early in the pandemic, there was a debate over the effectiveness of using cloth masks and bandanas to cover your mouth and nose. Though they are not 100% effective at stopping the spread of germs, or blocking them from reaching the mask-wearer’s face, many now believe universal masking is now a best practice to control the virus.

“It goes beyond just potentially preventing some infections," said Dr. Bruce Troen from the Jacobs School of Medicine.

“What we know is that there are social and cultural impacts of wearing masks. If you wear a mask, it tells others that you’re very concerned about the situation. It also helps encourage them to wear a mask.”

Troen also said he thinks wearing a mask can reinforce the idea of not touching your face and washing your hands by giving you a constant reminder of the situation you’re in.

“Because of the reasons I mentioned about the social and cultural impacts of that masks… any setup, whether its cloth, a bandanna, even some folks are using paper towels in a creative way, will help to reduce the spread.”

However, Troen said it has to be a community effort in order to be effective, which is why he believes the new Executive Order will be a good thing for Western New York.

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