Navigating the new reality of COVID-19 has shown that face masks have become a major part of our daily life. In fact, today, in many cities or communities they aren’t only much-needed to keep yourself safe and those around you, but they may also be legally-required to be worn in public depending on where you live. And not only do face masks need to be worn when we go out to the grocery store, for example, they also need to be worn by many of us when we have to travel for work and other obligations. But, if you’re one of those people that would rather not wear one, the only option you have when it comes to safety, is to just avoid people. However, avoiding people really isn’t an option when you start to think about it, and let’s face it: we’re social creatures. No matter how much we may think that we can go it alone, brave the world all by ourselves, without the help of friends or family, we really can’t. We need others in our lives for a variety of reasons. So in reality, we don’t want to avoid other people (most of us don’t, anyhow).
At this stage in the pandemic, everyone pretty knows that you have to wear a face mask when you go out in public. And thankfully, we’re all in a little bit better of a situation that we were back in late-March when COVID first landed in the United States–masks are readily available now. Back in late-March and early-April it was quite difficult to find a face mask. If you went to your local grocery store or pharmacy, the shelves were empty; Amazon was sold out; Home Depot had sold out of N95 respirators, etc. About the only place you could find critical PPE gear was Ebay, and the prices were outrageous.
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Several months now into the COVID-19 pandemic and people are still wondering what exactly is the best face mask. What is the best face mask to buy to keep you safe? What is the difference between N95 Respirators, disposable surgical masks, cotton face masks, or home made cloth or paper masks? With tons of information available at any moment on the internet, people can most certainly search social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram, YouTube, and others, as well as the major news outlets like The New York Times for the do’s and don’ts of mask wearing, but with all this information overloading our brains, it can truly be difficult sometimes to decode everything. Of course, there’s the essential information available to the public on the CDC’s website. However, given their continuous message-shifting and the fact that new information about the virus basically comes out by-the-minute, it can be quite confusing when one decides to try to follow along; even more, it can be super difficult for anyone to pick out the most important details from the information out there when so many are already so overwhelmed with work-from-home status, kids not in school, etc. Many are experiencing information overload because their minds are simply just not able to shake away their basic levels of fear, anxiety, or depression that many of us have had to live with all throughout 2020 ever since Coronavirus landed in the United States.
If there’s one pandemic prevention concept however that most do agree with, it’s that face masks most certainly do “help prevent the spread of COVID-19.” And that’s because, according to a recent report by doctors at Johns Hopkins University, face coverings “helps to contain small droplets that come out of your mouth and/or nose when you talk, sneeze or cough.” 
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