Coronavirus Pandemic: Should You Be Wearing a Face Mask When out Shopping?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep people socially distancing around the nation, many are wondering if they should be wearing a face mask when they go out shopping. Understandably, there are still things that are needed from places such as grocery stores and pharmacy, which means people have to get out occasionally.

In many areas it is strongly encouraged that a face mask be worn, but in others it is merely a suggestion. Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam recently spoke with CTV News, and shared her professional opinion on the matter. "Wearing a non-medical mask, even if you have no symptoms is an additional measure that you can take to protect others around you," she explained. The Windsor-Essex medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed commented as well, giving his thoughts on the use of mask that people make themselves: "There could be some benefit, but there could be some risk that come with it homemade masks," he stated.

Ahmed later went on to offer instructions on how best to situate your mask on your face."Before putting on a mask, wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly, secure the elastic loops around your ears, ensure the mask completely covers your nose and mouth and there are no gaps," he said. "Do not touch the mask while wearing and remove it by the elastics or ties, wash your hands thoroughly and throw away in a secure and proper way."

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Allison Tonkin, who stared making fabric masks last month, shared her thoughts on the matter as well. "I just saw that it might come to this, and I thought even if no one accepts them at hospitals or no one accepts them publicly, what if someone in this house gets sick and I would have to take care of them, and I would have to protect myself so I could put a mask on them." she said.

Another face mask-creator, Michelle Souchereau, explained that she understands the cloth face masks aren't a perfect solution, but adds that they still offer some prevention while in public. "The first time I wore this was yesterday at the grocery store and I’m so glad I wore because I was walking downtown he’s aisle a person turned their head and coughed without covering their mouth, so to me, this is a little bit better than nothing." At this time, the U.S. government has not issued a mandate requiring citizens to wear masks in public.