DENVER (CBS4) – Federal health experts are considering the idea of asking all of us to wear masks while we’re out or at work, and many people are already doing that. People across Colorado are already making masks, as the supply is low.
But should we be wearing masks? CBS4’s Alan Gionet turned to an expert for some answers, Dr. Michelle Barron, an infectious disease specialist with UCHealth Hospital.
“I have a lot of questions about masks, like a lot of people do,” Gionet told Barron.
“I think if you’re sick, obviously, that’s helpful in that it contains anything that you would potentially be coughing,” Barron responded.
A viral video out of the Czech Republic called attention to mask wearing as a way to protect yourself as well as other people from spreading the coronavirus. The video states there are fewer cases there. The Czech Republic is about twice Colorado’s population but it has a similar number of positive cases.
“If people are wearing masks do we lose our fear of getting close to one another?” Gionet asked Barron.
“That’s one of the things I worry about a little bit. The other thing that I really worry about is that it gives you a false sense of protection. So you have the mask on, but guess what! Your hands are not protected. And I’m not telling you to wear gloves, because then you’re just adding to the, ‘I’ve touched all this stuff and then my eye itches.’” Barron said while demonstrating how dirty hands can be a problem.
A mask is only as good as it’s fit on the face. Barron says that for it to work it has to cover the nose, make a tight fit around the cheeks, and come up under the chin.
“And I think, the reality is it’s not so comfortable to wear that fashion for long periods of time,” Barron added.
“And so other than in a health care setting, you’re not wearing a mask around?” Gionet asked.
“No. I go to the grocery store, my one time a week, and I don’t wear a mask. I make sure I have my hand sanitizer, that’s probably what I’m more paranoid about having on me, at all times. And then I just do my best at maintaining social distancing,” Barron said. “You do have to have some degree of time with someone. It’s not like if I passed you in the apple aisle, that suddenly now you and I are both now contaminated with each other. You have to have at least 5 minutes of interaction and in close proximity.”