Ever since COVID-19 came swooping into our lives, it seems like nearly everything has changed. Life as we knew it was turned upside down and everything that once made sense, we started to question. One of the biggest concerns that people have is the safety and health of themselves and their loved ones—what’s the best way to make sure everyone stays healthy?
There have been many ‘facts’ and statistics thrown at us. So many, in fact, that information can become cluttered, indecipherable, and confusing. The truth is, the virus that is affecting the globe is something that scientists and professionals are learning about every single day. What they thought they knew 3 weeks ago has now evolved into new discoveries. It’s overwhelming, but together, we’re all just trying to get through it.
Small businesses, like salons, have been trying their best to keep their customers and clients safe and healthy. They’ve implemented safety protocols for anyone who steps foot in the door—one of the most important? Requiring masks.
A recent story out of Springfield, Missouri is making headlines because of the undeniable efficacy of face masks. Two hairstylists at a local Great Clips returned to work in mid-May once their counties were given the “go-ahead,” but just days later, they began to feel symptoms of coronavirus. After testing positive for the virus, she realized that she had been in close proximity with 84 customers—however, she was wearing a mask. It was actually a suggestion for customers from the beginning of re-opening and a requirement for employees.
The next day, a second stylist tested positive for the virus, and she had worked on an additional 56 clients. The city of Springfield, with a generally low number of cases, was terrified that there would be an outbreak due to the 140 people exposed to the virus.
Clay Goddard, director of the health department in Springfield and head of the region’s response to the coronavirus, immediately sent contact tracers to work—expecting at least 5-10 new cases.
Amazingly, none of the 46 of the 140 Great Clips customers who opted to get tested were positive for the virus. And no other people who were exposed experienced any symptoms.
“Fourteen days after the second hairstylist tested positive, Goddard announced that there appeared to be no new infections from the Great Clips exposures. There had been a slight uptick in cases after Memorial Day, but they did not appear to be connected to the hair salon, Goddard said,” reported the Washington Post.
Being credited as the “outbreak that didn’t happen,” public officials are crediting the use of face masks for the safety of the customers.
“Which mask worked, the hairdresser’s or the client’s? I think the answer is yes, they both worked. The system worked. Universal masking worked. It really doesn’t matter which one,” said Robin Trotman, the medical director of infection prevention services at CoxHealth in Springfield.
— Marc Kaufman MD MS (@Marco73838565) April 4, 2020
The bottom line has been clear in the Great Clips lesson of Springfield, Missouri—masks are working and masks are keeping people safe. Many residents in the midwest town have been skeptical of wearing them, often turning it into a political statement, however, since word of the Great Clips incident has gotten out, more people are taking it seriously.
Although there is no method of preventing transmission of the virus that is 100% effective, this story shows just how helpful masks can be at keeping our society healthy.
If there is still any confusion about the importance of face masks, this graphic should help:
— Philadelphia Public Health (@PHLPublicHealth) April 30, 2020
Another study, conducted by UCSD, showed that the spread of the virus in Wuhan, China was much slower than in New York and Italy because their citizens were already used to wearing masks due to air pollution. The CDC also agrees that face masks can have a major impact on the transmission of the virus.
Just remember that masks are political, they are for the health and the safety of humans as a whole. Show compassion and wear a face mask.
Learn more in the video below.
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