The widow of a man who died of Covid-19 has described how she wears a mask outdoors to spare other families a “similar trauma”.
Amy Price, a patient editor for The BMJ medical journal, hoped wearing masks would help protect vulnerable people from the virus.
She described how her husband was hospitalized with a broken leg and spent four weeks in the hospital before contracting the virus.
“He was alone from the ambulance ride until his death,” Ms. Price wrote.
“None of us was allowed to visit us even once.
“Hoping it will protect other families from similar trauma, I wear a mask in public – indoors and outdoors – as well as physically distant to avoid crowds and wash my hands regularly.”
In a comment published in the magazine, she wrote: “When we run, talk, cough or sneeze, droplets of breath are released into the air.
“That’s why I wear a mask outside wherever people follow me – for example in the parking lot, on a city street or in a queue.
“Regular masks, worn both inside and out, can help us protect one another by reducing the spread at the source, even when we don’t know we are infected.”
She added, “Wearing a mask doesn’t mean you are weak or cowardly. It’s a great way to protect vulnerable people around you.
“I’m vaccinated, but I wear a mask, whether I’m inside or outside, out of solidarity with people who are still vulnerable.”
Experts discussed the subject in another article published in the journal.
Babak Javid of the University of California at San Francisco and colleagues acknowledge that the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus is far greater indoors than outdoors.
However, they said that wearing masks outdoors, especially in large outdoor gatherings with prolonged close interactions, should be normalized as it can reduce virus transmission and encourage wearing masks indoors, where the risk is greater.
“We argue that wearing masks outdoors, especially at large outdoor gatherings such as sporting events or other environments where it will be difficult to maintain physical distance for long periods of time, poses a small but measurable risk to seeding an overarching one The normalization of the wearing behavior of masks in general – brings advantages in reducing risk during the pandemic phase of Covid-19, ”they write.
Dr. However, Muge Cevik of the University of St. Andrews and colleagues argue that outdoor transmission adds very little to the overall infection rate.
They wrote: “The risk of transmission of Sars-CoV-2 outdoors is much lower than indoors.
“Less than 10% of reported Covid-19 cases involve transmission outdoors. These are usually associated with prolonged close interactions or attitudes in which people mingle both indoors and outdoors. In addition, there were no confirmed major Covid-19 clusters or “superspreader” events only outdoors. “