Masks Are Essential in Preventing COVID-19—Join the Movement during World Mask Week

Today, the COVID-19 pandemic continues its march, with more than 18 million cases globally—and nearly 4.7 million cases in the United States. Until there are vaccines or medicines available to fight COVID-19, wearing a mask is one of the best tools to prevent the virus’ spread, especially when paired with physical distancing, hand washing, testing and tracing. World Mask Week (August 7–14) aims to inspire a global movement to wear masks in public to help stem the exponential spread of COVID-19.

Right now, we need everyone to do their part by wearing a mask in public. Why?

Research shows that when worn correctly, face coverings block the spray of droplets from sneezing, coughing, talking, singing or shouting when worn over the mouth and nose. Masks serve as barriers that help prevent droplets from traveling into the air. Since people may have COVID-19, but not know it or have symptoms, consistent mask wearing can reduce the spread of the virus.

Not convinced? Modelling shows that masks worn by 80–90 percent of the population coupled with social distancing could eventually eliminate the disease.

For World Mask Week, more than 40 organizations are coming together with the goal to inform and educate people across the globe about the effectiveness of mask wearing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some of these organizations include the Pandemic Action Network, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Africa CDC, Facebook, Global Citizen and our team at the CDC Foundation.

As part of the response, our team is committed to sponsoring efforts that emphasize the importance of wearing a face covering consistently and correctly. As part of our work, we are helping organize and support a number of efforts, including campaigns with CDC, the Ad Council and others focused on the importance of masks to crush COVID-19.

We know there is power in numbers, and each of us can make a tremendous difference. Please join us in World Mask Week by showing your support for mask wearing. You can do so by uploading an image of yourself wearing a mask on social media with the tag #WorldMaskWeek. I encourage you to get creative and tag others to do the same.Thanks for doing your part to protect us all!

 



Judy Monroe, MD, is president and CEO of the CDC Foundation.