I have been reporting on face masks for a year now. This is what everyone is wrong

On April 3, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began recommending people wear face masks, and a few days later I wrote my first article on masks. At the time, it seemed like a strange one-off article – a brief distraction before I could write about Rage Against the Machine concerts again – but we’re coming to a year where masks are essentially the only topic I consistently write about.

As I’ve discussed before, the more people wear masks wrong, the longer I have to write about them. I love doing this, of course, because being able to contribute in this small way during a pandemic has done more to keep me healthy than anything else. But I’m sure you’d rather read an article about Rage Against the Machine concerts at this point. The stakes would certainly be lower.

To be clear, this article is not about the simple stuff. Most of us know that your mask should cover your nose, that masks are no substitute for social detachment, and that masks with vents don’t work. This is about the little things that have caused confusion or made you feel like everything is hopeless. I promise we will end on an edifying note today.

To learn more about the best masks available and how to make the safest decision on how to wear them, see here.

Despite public confusion, the CDC guidelines have not changed

A well-known refrain during this pandemic is that the guidelines of the CDC are constantly changing. NBC reported on it, CNN reported that the CDC was pressured to change guidelines arbitrarily during the Trump administration, and I wrote about every little change or breakthrough that happened here at SFGATE.

No one can be blamed for not knowing how to behave in a pandemic. After all, official advice keeps changing, right?

Not really. The truth is, while there have been constant breakthroughs to understanding how this particular coronavirus works, the guidelines have stayed pretty much the same:

  • Wear the best mask you can
  • Stay six feet away from everyone
  • Don’t touch your face

If you want to get to the bottom of it, you can keep a close eye on which masks were considered best, or start the debate between experts and government officials about whether people outside of healthcare should wear N95 masks, but that’s not the case. strictly necessary. Doing your best is all we can do.

This is not to downplay confusion, or to get the CDC off the hook. Messages need to be improved. But the actual instructions are and always have been quite simple.

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The wrong mask is not ‘worse than no mask at all’