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Editorial | To wear or not to wear

The 2019-nCoV scare has driven many to wear masks, some of them preferring the N-95 type which was often used during the Taal crisis, thinking it can protect them from the virus. This huge demand, which started at the beginning of the year, inevitably caused problems with supply in the market. Yesterday, a legislator ordered a probe in the possible hoarding of masks, adversely affect those who actually need it for health purposes such as medical practitioners and those who are sick, including cancer patients and those undergoing dialysis.

The Department of Health has repeatedly urged that methods of prevention are the practice of good hygiene such as hand washing, covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing, proper nutrition and rest. If one did not come from Wuhan in China or in places where there is an outbreak, or suffering from cough or flu, one does not need a mask.

The Department of Trade has monitored the shortage of medical face masks but said there was no overpricing of the item here in the city contrary to reports made by media or social media posts. (See frontpage story). There will be many who will dispute this statement.

But the question is, do we really need masks? The US Food and Drug Administration advised that “while a facemask may be effective in blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, a facemask, by design, does not filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs, sneezes or certain medical procedures. Facemasks also do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants because of the loose fit between the surface of the facemask and your face.”

Proper care and disposal of face masks should also be practiced. It shouldn’t be used more than once and should be disposed by placing it on a plastic bag before putting it in the trash.

For now, we should just heed the health department and not easily believe whatever is said by friends or in social media, and worse. to spread unverified information. We cannot solve the virus by fanning the flames of ignorance.

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