As states are reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic, the risk of contracting the deadly virus when going out has gotten higher. And since it’s the summer season, many people are torn on having to wear face masks outside when the temperatures are warmer.
Just recently, Dr. Teresa Murray Amato spoke about how face masks and summertime aren’t a good fit. However, she said that we should still continue wearing face masks even when it is “a little hot” just so we can prevent the disease from spreading.
“Even though we know it’s going to be a little uncomfortable, I really think the benefits outweigh the discomfort of being a little warm while wearing your mask,” Amato said.
Previous reports indicated that scientists were hoping for the summer heat to help contain the spread of the virus. Flu illnesses typically die out when the hotter months arrive, so they hoped that the warmer climate could provide relief against the pandemic.
However, experts are now saying that even when the humid heat is here, the novel coronavirus continues to spread. Hence, following social distancing and wearing personal protective equipment are still necessary.
Dr. Waleed Javaid, the director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York City, said that people should wear face masks and keep their distance to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
His statement comes amid the reopening of at least 10 states including Texas, Alabama, South Carolina, California, Arkansas, Nevada, Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. The states have reported record levels of hospitalizations, but this was the risk that came with the move to reopen the economy.
To properly protect yourself from the coronavirus during the summer season, Amato recommends wearing face masks that sufficiently cover both the mouth and nose. It is important to note that sweat could be a problem. When a face mask becomes damp with sweat, it won’t be able to filter viruses efficiently.
Javaid said that the best thing to do when your face mask becomes wet with your sweat is to change it. He noted that people who are going outside should always bring an extra mask.
If you are struggling to breathe because of the heat, Amato said that you should consider taking a break by distancing yourself from other people and lifting the mask for a bit to cool yourself off.
“Getting out there and getting some fresh air just makes you mentally feel better. If you can social distance and you can stay quite a bit of distance away from other people and you’re outdoors, we feel pretty comfortable saying you can take that mask off,” Amato said.