The Effectiveness Of Masks Against COVID-19

It’s been a month since I last covered this topic. A lot’s happened. A month ago we were averaging 1,200 new COVID-19 cases per day in Florida. Now 9,200 per day. A month ago we averaged 34 COVID deaths a day. Now 54. A month ago, the positive test rate in Florida was 4.3%. Today it’s 19.3%. I could continue but there is but one immovable fact. The spread of the virus, and the risk of being exposed to it, are significantly higher today. Why? There are multiple contributing reasons but one that stands above the rest. People not wearing masks in public places around others. How can I definitively make that statement? Because scientific study after scientific study has demonstrated as much.

Masks are the single most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus. Yet every day, despite our current reality, I hear from numerous listeners who want to argue about it. And what’s most frustrating to me is that unlike some issues in which the only person you harm if you act against your own interest is yourself, this is very much the contrary. Less of South Florida’s economy is open today than a month ago because of the spread. Fewer South Floridians are working today than a month ago because of the spread. Tens of thousands of South Floridians are sick today who weren’t then because of the spread. Thousands of South Floridians are now dead because of the spread. So, when people are careless and ignore public health advisories like wearing masks, this is what happens. 

Once again I'll bring this up. Look around you when you’re out and about. How many people are social distancing? How many are wearing masks when in closed public spaces? That’s why we’re having these spikes. The top takeaway from the scientists continues to be the use of masks in public. In fact, when wearing a mask and social distancing by just three feet your odds of catching COVID-19 from someone who has it just three feet from you decreases to only 3%. This really isn’t complicated, but the question is will we listen. I’d much rather completely reopen the economy, stay healthy, and get used to masks than any of the alternatives. Hopefully, you feel the same way. It’s in all our best interests.

From a month ago, two additional studies came out further proving the effectiveness of masks and the proliferation of the virus in Florida. And for any additional cynics who still want to hold out, why, for at least 140 years, have medical service providers worn masks? Please be smart and be safe. If not for you, then for all of the rest of us who want to stay healthy and to fully reopen our economy. I don’t agree with lockdowns either but rest assured reopenings won’t happen throughout South Florida until we begin to meaningfully turn the corner on the virus.

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