Does the mask protect me or only those around me?
It probably protects both of them.
Studies on the new coronavirus and other germs show that wearing masks helps prevent infected people transmit the disease to others. Evidence also suggests that masks offer some protection to those who wear them.
The new coronavirus spreads through droplets that people release when they speak, sneeze or cough. Surgical or cloth masks prevent most of these particles from spreading.
Although some can spread, wearing a mask could reduce the amount, benefiting others. Research shows that people don't get as sick when exposed to a smaller amount of viruses, said Dr. Monica Gandhi, a virus expert at the University of California, San Francisco.
And masks can protect those who get them. have been reducing the number of droplets from others that can come into contact with them.
In two food processing plants in the United States where the use of a mask was required and sources of contagion were detected, Gandhi pointed out that most of the workers who developed Covid-19 had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.
Studies of another coronavirus also found low rates of infection among people who regularly wore a face mask in public.
Experts say masks are especially important with the new virus because infected people can be contagious even without symptoms.