Medical community supports face mask use
I disagree with Jonathan Hughes’ recent Letter to the Editor, “Cloth-mask mandate of no medical value.” As a full-time registered nurse, this scares the dickens out of me. He is welcome to present his personal views, but I trust medical professionals, including our governor, to make decisions for our communities and country over personal opinions. His overview of World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for community use of masks is correct, but a deeper investigation on the WHO website’s Q&A finds: “The use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection. Other measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene should be adopted” and “WHO is actively studying the rapidly evolving science on masks and continuously updates its guidance.”
Masks certainly are not an end-all barrier for transmission of the COVID-19 virus, but medical-grade masks successfully serve as barriers to droplets
that transmit this highly communicable disease. WHO advises community assessments to use a risk-based decision-making process for mask use factors including: vulnerability, setting, feasibility and types of masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does support the use of cloth face masks and provides research-based support on its website, including a video by Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. surgeon general: https://www.cdc. gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ prevent-getting-sick/cloth-facecover.html
With more than 100,000 deaths and devastating illness across the country, this new viral insult to our globe is too young to have validated evidencebased medical practice to guide us. The medical research has just started. We do know that many are infected and remain asymptomatic. We do know that lives can be saved if we reduce exposure. The medical community of our country supports that mask use is medically necessary to reopen our economy.
MELISSA JARRARD-MAHAYNI, R.N.