Effectiveness Of Face Masks

Cassie Ford

While people all over the world have been using face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, one may question how effective they truly are.

Certified nursing assistant Nicole Carrete works at St. Luke’s North Hospital where she has dealt with COVID-19 patients firsthand. While dealing with any patient, it became protocol to wear masks inside the hospital March 24.

“It became mandatory to start wearing masks just because we were doing more COVID-19 testing, and it’s put it in place for everybody’s safety,” said Carrete.

Carrete said some workers at St. Luke’s wore a surgical face mask over the N95 masks they were required to wear. The N95 masks were the highest-level mask that can protect them for a longer period of time and more efficiently from the coronavirus.

“They’re barely getting those in stock in the hospital, so that’s why we are wearing the double masks,” said Carrete.

The Centers for Disease Control(CDC) said people should wear a cloth face covering their mouth and nose if they are to interact with any other people or animals in public places.

“You don’t need to wear the cloth face covering if you are alone,” said the CDC. “This will help protect the people around you.”

They said the cloth face coverings they recommended were not surgical masks or any medical-grade masks and did not want the general public to use any masks meant for healthcare workers.

“Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders,” said the CDC.

The CDC said the cloth masks should be routinely washed.

“A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering,” said the CDC.

Junior Kelsey Wine miller was a student working part-time at Hy-Vee in Gladstone, Missouri, and at first, she didn’t have a mask, so she didn’t wear one, but said she got masks and started wearing cloth masks when she worked and went out in public. In fact, Hy-Vee started requiring all employees to wear masks.

“I have enough masks for it to potentially make a difference, even if it’s not much,” said Winemiller.

Senior Anya Thurman said she wore a type one mask when she went out into public places like grocery stores because she wanted to prevent her germs from spreading in order to protect herself and others. She thought it was necessary to wear them and said others should wear masks, too.

“I don’t want to spread my germs, and I want to set an example for others to do the same,” said Thurman. “It would slow the spread of COVID and get us all out of quarantine.

”While the CDC said to wear masks for the protection of others, you have to make sure you clean them.