I want to clarify a point that was made in a letter (Aug. 23, “Gov. Hogan’s divisiveness continues”), regarding mask usage and the size of the SARS-Co-V virus.
While it is true that viruses themselves are indeed smaller than the pores of a face mask, they do not travel on their own. They are carried in the fine mist of aerosol droplets that are released from the mouth or nose of an infected person. Masks are effective in blocking these aerosol droplets.
The use of masks by infected and uninfected people, while a nuisance, is a means of protection that is safe, effective, accessible and inexpensive. Wearing masks in public as a method of infection control is a common-sense approach to add to the list of other commonly accepted health and safety measures such hand washing after using the bathroom or staying home when sick with influenza.
It is also universally accepted that medical and surgical teams wear masks to prevent infections in vulnerable patients or those undergoing surgery. Any advice or mandate to wear masks in public places is not meant to restrict freedom; it is there to protect the health of the vulnerable people in our society.