There have been renewed calls from the NSW Opposition government for face masks to be made mandatory on public transport after confirmed COVID-19 cases travelled on Sydney buses and trains. Public transport is the ideal breeding ground for any viruses and as we know the perfect petri dish for the corona virus to thrive. We've seen how quickly covid19 can spread particularly in crowded situations. Confined indoor spaces can put us at the highest risk of infection and travelling on public transport is where viral particles can stay present for long periods of time. In fact in todays news we hear it's even longer than we first thought.
So why not make face masks mandatory like they have in Europe and the UK? Governments and business are calling for us all to get back to work but if we are to make this possible we are going to have to change how we go about it. Staying 1.5 metres apart on any shared form of transportation is just that, impossible. Therefore let's get on board like our European friends and start wearing face masks. Do we need governments to mandate this before we do?
Two-thirds of Australians think mask use should be mandatory in all public places, even though far fewer people outside hotspot states are themselves wearing face coverings. It's definitely not yet ingrained in our culture but we need to make this a part of our every day life until a vaccine is made available. Protecting ourselves and others is simply changing the way do things. Thinking about it is simply not enough.
We can see in our history, for instance when we started encouraging people to wear seatbelts. People didn't consider them necessary, didn't consider them as something that would save their lives. But with time we made them compulsory. And we all know how effective it's been. A simple change in habit can make a huge difference in preserving lives.Face masks are ideal and helpful in situations when physical distancing is not possible but there are some tricks you'll need to know, including that they must contain at least three layers. The most important part is that the mask fits properly. It must fit snugly, providing a seal around your nose mouth and chin. Ensure your mask includes a nose clip that's adjustable so that the mask fits right onto your nose preventing any gaps. Home made masks are ok but remember they must fit snug and be at least 3 layers. Surgical masks certainly lower the risk of catching the virus. While they are a good tool in stopping a carrier from spreading the virus, they may be less effective in protecting the wearer from contracting it. Be mindful that surgical masks cannot be reused and changing them frequently is vital if they are to be effective. Its important also to consider the impact this will have on our environment now and in years to come. The average person who needs to wear a mask should really consider using one that's sustainable, practical and comfortable.