Medical mask wearing has a long history that can be traced back as far as the 17th century. During the Flu Pandemic of 1918, cities around the world passed mandatory mask-wearing orders to help prevent spread and protect doctors and nurses from contagious patients. Historians suggest that Americans widely embraced mask wearing as an “emblem of public spiritedness and discipline.” Even our pop culture icons like Batman and the Lone Ranger were celebrated mask wearers…..OK, that’s a bit of a stretch, but you get the point.
So, how did wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic become so controversial? Ok, I think we know the reason for this too. So, maybe the better question is: what does the science tell us about wearing a mask?
In this episode, Dr. Jennifer Phillips from the UNM School of Family and Community Medicine and Bridget Llanes from Bernalillo County Community Health Council join Dr. Frank to discuss the importance of wearing a mask, the types of masks that are most effective in preventing spread, how often you should clean your mask, and most importantly, what do scientists who study this have to say about wearing a mask to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?