Masks can be uncomfortable while exercising outside, but they’re very important. In light of new research acknowledging aerosols –more harmful airborne particles –masks protect not just you but also others. Wearing a mask is also considered a positive signal in society.
Should You Be Wearing a Mask Outside?
The pandemic has forced us to evaluate and reevaluate various topics, whether they’re prominent at an individual or global stage. One of the most representative symbols of the year 2020 has been the ‘mask.’ Our understandings regarding masks, how they function, their use, and various other aspects related to the covering have shifted over the months.
At the initial stages, public-health authorities were mainly concentrating on the direct transmission caused by larger droplets and the transmission caused by contacting contaminated surfaces. Recommendations like social distancing were given at a large scale, and public life, as we knew it, turned into something we hadn’t expected. But then, sometime later, researchers got together and built pressure on the World Health Organization. It was regarding the acknowledgment of aerosols. These are small airborne particles, and COVID-19 can also be transmitted through them, a piece of critical information that the population was not aware of.
Aerosols are tiny, and they carry the potential of entering deep into your lungs. Experts in aerobiology have warned that aerosols can have a more severe and lasting impact. The infection they cause is dangerous and more dreadful. These particles may trigger an immune response, which can make the cases dangerously worse. In such an infection, deep inhalation would be accompanied by open-mouthed and heavy breathing during exercise.
However, open-air has two facets to consider in the context of the pandemic. While the part about the dangerous small particles holds, so does the importance of open air. It is known for limiting the risk outdoors. Furthermore, the full sun’s UV light also plays a significant role in inactivating the virus, making it crucial.
So the question arises once again.
Should You Be Wearing Masks Outside?
Because of the low risk of exposure to viruses while outside, the masks may seem less important. But then a short meeting can quickly turn into an extended interaction. And the latter is extremely dangerous, putting you at risk. Immunologists point out the risk of exposure multiplied by time. Group activities, in particular, especially without a mask, are threatening.
Perhaps what’s most vital to keep in mind is that you cannot decide on one measure alone. When you step outside, multiple factors will overlap, and precaution is more crucial than ever before. Educated experts on the COVID-19 aerosol spread have chosen to wear a mask whenever going outside. Covering your face while paying attention to other factors is one way of reducing the maximum risk of falling sick. Ultimately, exposure should be as limited as possible.
The Importance of Masks Increases When Outside.
This holds a more substantial significance when other people are present. Masks undoubtedly have a strong position as a precaution for your safety, but they may be even more of a protection for those surrounding you. Which brings us to the next point –masks are looked at as a good sign among social circles. When you keep your distance and responsibly cover your face with a mask, other people feel more comfortable in your presence because you’re sending them a signal that you care about the community’s health.
Now to the bigger question –
What If Masks Are Uncomfortable To Wear?
And the truth is that they are. For athletes, wearing masks can be a daunting task since there’s a definite impact of masks on their ability to work harder. And while it’s also true that wearing a face mask can cause a drop in oxygen saturation, it shouldn’t be a considerable drop. However, it’s always recommended to pay heed to the symptoms and change your workout’s intensity to something more comfortable.
Wearing a mask in public settings and distancing measures are difficult. They’re also very inconvenient for some people. But the middle of the pandemic might not be the best time to object to inconveniences and minor challenges. With a shortage of health workers and pressurized resources, there’s a straightforward answer to this question. Should you be wearing masks outside? Yes. Even if it’s an imperfect face covering, wear it.