Face masks: Yes or No?

Face masks: Yes or No?

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Many people are choosing not to wear a face mask despite CDC recommendations of wearing one to help minimize the spread of the virus.

The question of whether face masks are necessary has a community divided in Southwest Louisiana.

KPLC asked the question, and answers were split. Yes, because of health issues; No, because of a false sense of security.

Dr. Clifford Courville, pulmonary and critical care doctor with Memorial Health System, said masks will work in slowing the spread only if a majority of people wear them.

“The face masks do work at limiting the spread of droplets from an individual,” Courville said. “If you could perhaps save just a few people from catching the virus, you would have then reduced the spread of that virus significantly because they won’t shed the virus to others and so forth.”

Dr. Courville said the concerning part of the virus is not everybody has the exact symptoms. Some symptoms can be confused with your run of the mill allergy symptoms.

But Courville said a mask can act as a barrier and another layer of protection for others around us.

“It will not necessarily prevent you from catching the virus from somebody else if you’re wearing a mask and they are not,” Courville said. “But if most of the people wear them and preferably everyone, then you can imagine how it would sort of slow down the spread of respiratory droplets that can be shed during mutual conversation.”

Both the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory viruses. The difference is there are ways to combat the flu, whereas with Covid, we do not.

Courville said it is rare and difficult for someone with normal lungs to become sick from breathing their own carbon dioxide while wearing a face mask. The mask would have to be very tight fitting for that to even become a possibility, Courville said.

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