Lv 4
A asked in Science & MathematicsMedicine · 6 months ago

Does face mask protect you or others?

By the way, I'm talking about the medical face mask (the one with a blue side and a white side).

I can't find a solid answer from the internet. One source said that face masks are only effective in protecting others from you if you have the virus, but it does not protect you from other people if other people aren't wearing a mask. Meaning it's hard for particles to leave the mask, but easy for particles to enter the mask?

If the mask stops particles from your mouth leaving the mask which you wear, then shouldn't that mean that the mask should be able to also prevent particles from outside the mask from entering? Why is it only one-way?

And another question is it any different from a fabric mask?

Thanks. Very confused.

15 Answers

  • david
    Lv 4
    6 months ago

    A bit of both. Face masks have been worn in the hospital for decades. It stops the sick from spreading their germs and the well from catching them via the same action. 

  • ?
    Lv 4
    6 months ago

    It’s like ******* a hooker without condom

    Ask your self would that be safe  

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    BOTH but mostly others

  • 6 months ago

    The scientific answer is "NO" they do not stop viruses from passing through them. THey are not designed to.  

         They are designed to stop spit containing bacterium from entering a surgical theater, an open wound etc.  

          The latest scientific studies, one of which is less than two months old from the CDC admits masks do not stop sick people from breathing  a virus through it and spreading it and does even less to protect the wearer from a sick person.  Coughing through a mask spreads the corona virus.  

        Masks do not stop viruses, they are too small and even though they stop some water droplets there are droplets of water even smaller than the virus so don't be deceived into trusting a mask will protect you in a given situation, it will not.  It is meant to be a form of control to get people to submit to authority, not slow the virus down.  Also some masks can increase your chance of getting ill.  Check out Ben Swann's two reports on these scientific studies.  Also Laura Ingram, and the X22 report also did a detailed report on recent science studies that show masks are complete junk.

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  • Lili
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Both, though the greatest benefits go to others.

    You could be an asymptomatic carrier without realizing it, but someone to whom you gave the virus could develop a very serious and even fatal case.

    And remember: if the mask you wear protects others, the masks others wear protect YOU. To them, YOU are the other.

  • 6 months ago

    It protects both ways. It prevents a lot of transmission of the person wearing it has it. It protects the wearer from getting it from others in reducing the risk. There is risk reduction on both ends. Not 100% prevention or protection. 

    "Wearing a facial covering not only curbs the spread of the coronavirus but reduces a mask wearer's risk of catching the virus by 65%, said Dean Blumberg, MD, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children's Hospital.

    Blumberg, speaking on a college livestream about the coronavirus, said that a "standard rectangular surgical mask ... will decrease the risk of infection to the person wearing the mask by about 65%" and that homemade masks also "should work quite well."

    N95 masks are the most effective but should be reserved for medical personnel, he added."

    The above is from a Medscape article

    Expert: Face Masks Reduce Wearer's COVID Infection Risk by 65%

    Ralph Ellis

    July 10, 2020

    I believe the reference is that of a Lancet article performing a meta-analysis of 10 studies showing that outcome in risk reduction. 


  • ?
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    The Covid-19 virus is about 80 to 160 nanometers in size. It is much smaller than a bacterium. In fact, it is smaller than the wavelength of visible light. Fortunately, the way Covid-19 spreads is through droplets of liquid ... when people cough, sneeze, talk, sing, etc. they release droplets of liquid containing the virus. 

    Most of these droplets are big enough that they fall quickly, but can then sit on surfaces. This is why you had the 2m / 6ft social distancing (most droplets would have hit the floor in this range) and the advice to wash hands (picking up droplets on your hands through contact with surfaces).

    Some of these droplets emitted by the person are small enough that they can remain suspended in the air (so-called aerosols) as long as 15 minutes or more. In a crowded room with poor ventilation, the risk of inhalation of these aerosols increases as does the risk of surface contamination.

    The way to think of a mask is that it is a device that reduces the probability of virus-containing liquid droplets entering your mouth or nose from the surrounding environment, or leaving your mouth and nose to the surrounding environment. All masks will pretty much do this to greater or lesser extent. In other words, they work both ways and help to protect you and other people.

    The exception to this are some masks with venting. These filter the air going into the mask but not the air going out.

    So, to answer your question, most masks and face coverings work both ways. They reduce the risk of you inhaling or expelling droplets. The reason for the confusion is because people can be infected for up to 2 weeks before they show symptoms and even then, may not show symptoms at all. Wearing masks reduces the probability of these people spreading the virus, hence you have people telling you that wearing masks is to stop you infecting others. True. But they help reduce others infecting you too.

    Source(s): I'm a CNS on a Covid-19 ward
  • Dixon
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    It is mostly about protecting others from yourself. This is why is was already common in places with high social responsibility (like Japan) to wear a mask if you have a cold. It is to protect others from yourself. Masks also provide a small amount filtering the air for yourself but since the filter point is right in front of your face on a damp mask, the protection it affords you is not as big.

  • mokrie
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    The more layers a mask has the more protection it gives. Scarves or bandannas are no help at all. Paper masks that are blue are not much help either as protection. To give a perfect example picture two guys talking. Both are naked. Bob on the right pees all over Joe's legs. Now if Joe was wearing pants most of the pee would be on the pants but some would go through the fabric onto his legs..BUT if both guys were wearing pants then when Bob pees most all of it would be on his own pants and not reach Joe at all. So if you wear a mask but the other guy doesn't then his Covid pee can still hit your mask and come through. If you both have a mask then he only covid pees on himself. 

  • Amy
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    The mask does protects you from breathing in particles from outside. However if another person is spraying virus particles around, then they land on surfaces you might touch with your hands (including the outside of your mask). In addition to the mask you should wear gloves and/or wash your hands frequently.

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