Coronavirus/COVID-19: Face masks actually CAN help. Also beware the threats from restroom hand dryers, poop & toilet flushing

Note: proper-frequent hand-washing and other public health warnings should be followed, but there exist other significant considerations that can add to those. Several of those, are below, along with links to peer-reviewed scientific papers (and a couple of well-sourced articles from the media and government sources)


H0w masks can help protect you against COVID-19

Like most people, you you you touch your face a lot. From 16 to 23 times per hour.

That means that the overwhelming proliferation of public health warnings that wearing face masks will n0t protect you from contracting COVID-19 are wrong/incomplete.

If you put aside the question of whether masks could filter out the virus (variable from somewhat to not so much even with N95) the fact is that a mask covers up two of the three most important face-touching infection routes: mouth and nose.

However, masks are a physical barrier to that contact, and can be a psychological reminder to avoid eye touching. Wearing glasses is yet another reminder/barrier.

Further reading:


Beware of poop!

While most personal protection warnings have focused on respiratory and facial touching as infection routes, there is solid scientific evidence that fecal contamination should be considered. Proper handwashing is the obvious defense here. The next section offers another precaution.

Further reading:


Public restrooms are not your friend

Modern flush toilets and hot air hand dryers can spread bacteria — including e. coli and other fecal germs and viruses. The flushing turns part of the toilet contents into an aerosol which can be breathed in, and also recirculated by the hand dryers.

This would not be as much a problem if a toilet lid were closed before flushing. But almost all public toilets lack lids,

Further Reading:

 

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