Experts say that if only 95% of the people wore masks everyday, it can save 130,000 lives in the next 3 months. In this article, let’s discuss how wearing masks can reduce the death rate of COVID-19.
Christopher Murray, a lead author on the paper and the director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation mentioned in a press that “We think the key point here is that there’s a huge winter surge coming.” He also said that the wave may not be preventable but if usage of masks is increased, it can be an easy win for the United States.
More than 250,000 people have died due to the COVID-19 in the United States. More than 11 million have been tested positive for COVID-19.
IHME predicts that if the current trend continues, the death toll of COVID-19 might surpass 470,000 by March.
Ruth Etzioni, a biostatistician at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington says, “The Exact numbers are impossible to predict”.
Many studies have also shown that there might be around half a million Covid-19- related deaths in the US by the end of February. If 95% of people wore masks regularly, around 130,000 lives can be saved. Even if 85% of people wore a mask, around 96,000 deaths can be prevented. According to the author’s estimation, covering your face can reduce the risk of getting the infection by around 40%.
Initially IHME did not try to model transmission rates and incubation periods of the novel CoronaVirus, and only tried to fit the United States onto data from outbreaks from other places.
Later, IHME switched to another way of modeling infectious disease. This aims to calculate the mathematical cascade of transmission such as the number of people getting exposed, number of people then getting infected, amount of people susceptible to the disease, and number of recovery.
Reich explained that their recent forecasts that have been submitted to the COVID-19 forecast hub, have performed well in accuracy for around one month in the future. Though they are not the best model, they still seem to be providing reasonably accurate predictions.
The team seems to use state-by-state data from the past on case rates and other variables like seasonal pneumonia fluctuations and levels of mask use.
This sort of analysis just provides a hint of the general direction we should avoid and the ones that should be headed in order to make people be aware and keep them safe as much as possible.
Etzioni says that we do not need a model that explains to us that we should be wearing masks. We do not need a model to explain to us that if we continue what we are doing now, we might see tens of thousands more deaths in the next couple of months. The curves you see in the model might help people freak out and be aware of the situation.
This model can be very useful for our governors who are trying hard to mandate wearing masks. Models like this might be important to provide a kind of evidence.
Why Should You Wear a Mask?
According to the CDC, wearing masks can not only protect you but also the people around you. And more surprisingly, if you can wear a mask you can help protect the economy. Many researchers say that just a 15% increase in the mask use can eventually help increase economic losses by up to $1 trillion.
Studies have shown that the type of face mask you wear and how long you wear it also makes a huge difference. If you are wondering how to use face masks safely, the first thing you can do is to get a N95 face mask. CoronaVirus droplets are said to be less than 5 microns in size, therefore only the use of N95 masks can stop them from spreading. Mask wearing might play a huge role in the prevention of COVID-19 while we wait for the development of vaccines.