The CDC director and several other government officials testified before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and reported that face masks may provide more protection than coronavirus vaccine. Face coverings are “the most powerful public health tool” the nation has against the coronavirus and might even provide better protection against it than a vaccine, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told lawmakers Wednesday. “We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said, “I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid than when I take a Covid vaccine.” Redfield also predicted that it will take “six to nine” months to get every American vaccinated, saying the U.S. should have enough doses to return to “regular life” by the third quarter of next year.
While social distancing is the most important way to fight the spread of coronavirus and save lives, wearing a mask is an act of social altruism - a behavior that is designed to increase another person's welfare, and particularly those actions that do not seem to provide a direct reward to the person who performs them. While guidance on whether to wear a face mask has been evolving, wearing a mask can help limit the spread of respiratory droplets, which in turn spread the new coronavirus. Sewing your own face mask helps to protect the supply of surgical masks to frontline care providers. In an effort to promote this activity the NY Times provided a tutorial on how to make your own fabric face mask from common household materials.