Last updated on April 3rd, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, experts have started to question official guidance about whether ordinary, healthy people should protect themselves with a regular surgical mask, or even a scarf.
The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to state that masks don’t necessarily protect healthy individuals from getting infected as they go about their daily lives.
The official guidance continues to recommend that masks should be reserved for people who are already sick, as well as for the health workers and caregivers who must interact with infected individuals on a regular basis. Everyone else, they say, should stick to frequent hand-washing and maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other people to protect themselves.
But the recent surge in infections in the United States, which has put the country at the center of the epidemic, with more confirmed cases than China, Italy or any other country, means that more Americans are now at risk of getting sick. And healthy individuals, especially those with essential jobs who cannot avoid public transportation or close interaction with others, may need to start wearing masks more regularly.