Why cloth masks can help stop the spread of COVID-19


On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control said people should wear cloth masks in public places.

Pamela Medeiros is one of many Hawaii residents sewing masks for those who need it. She works a full 8-hour shift and then gets to work.

“At 3:30 pm I actually get something to eat and drink, and then I go right into sewing, and I go until like 6 o’clock in the morning,” Medeiros said.

Medeiros then sews masks throughout the night.

“I want people to be able to protect themselves and their families, that’s why I’m giving them away.”

So why are we now being told to wear cloth masks in public?

It’s because experts are learning more about the virus.

“We’ve also learned that there’s a lot more asymptomatic spread than we originally thought. What that means is that someone like you or me who does not have any symptoms whatsoever could be spreading the virus,” Dr. Rupie (Rupal Gohil, MD) explained.

Dr. Rupie said a person’s mouth is like spray bottle. Every time you cough, sneeze, laugh or even talk, droplets fall onto surfaces around you.

“Just by talking, they can go up to 3-6ft,” Dr. Rupie said. “Now coughing and sneezing, [droplets] can go potentially even further than that.”

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is spread through those respiratory droplets.

Dr. Rupie asked the public to save N95 masks for health care workers. She added that masks need to be used with proper hygiene.

“You should be washing your mask after every single use,” Dr. Rupie said. She suggested putting the mask in the dryer so the high-heat can kill any viruses on the material.

Wearing a mask needs to be combined with proper hand washing before putting it on and when taking it off, Dr. Rupie said.

“Wearing face masks should not be promoting people to go out in the public because the best way to avoid this all together is to stay at home,” Dr. Rupie said.

To contact Pamela Medeiros for a mask, you can email her at: pamelamedeirosmercado@gmail.com

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