There has been a debate for months about the protection that masks, especially homemade masks, give us against any virus let alone the COVID-19 virus.

We hear the constant drumbeat that we should listen to the science.  We also hear that some of the most preeminent scientists in the world work for the World Health Organization (W.H.O.).  What does the W.H.O. have to say about masks?  In their "Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19 Interim guidance" dated June 5, 2020, under the Background section page 1 they wrote:

"The use of masks is part of a comprehensive package of the prevention and control measures that can limit the spread of certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19. Masks can be used either for protection of healthy persons (worn to protect oneself when in contact with an infected individual) or for source control (worn by an infected individual to prevent onward transmission)."

They then wrote the following:

"However, the use of a mask alone is insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection or source control, and other personal and community level measures should also be adopted to suppress transmission of respiratory viruses. Whether or not masks are used, compliance with hand hygiene, physical distancing and other infection prevention and control (IPC) measures are critical to prevent human-to human transmission of COVID-19."

Then on page 7 under the Potential benefits/advantages section, they stated that some of the likely advantages of the use of masks by healthy people in the general public include:

* reduced potential stigmatization of individuals wearingmasks to prevent infecting others (source control) or ofpeople caring for COVID-19 patients in non-clinicalsettings;(70)

 

* making people feel they can play a role in contributing tostopping spread of the virus;

Then on page 9 of the W.H.O. guidance under the heading of "Number of layers" they write:

A minimum of three layers is required for non-medical masks, depending on the fabric used. The innermost layer of the mask is in contact with the wearer’s face. The outermost layer is exposed to the environment.(78) Fabric cloths (e.g., nylon blends and 100% polyester) when folded into two layers, provides 2-5 times increased filtration efficiency compared to a single layer of the same cloth, and filtration efficiency increases 2-7 times if it is folded into 4 layers.(75) Masks made of cotton handkerchiefs alone should consist of at least 4 layers, but have achieved only 13% filtration efficiency.(73)

Does your mask qualify as a W.H.O. approved mask or not?

I would presume most do not?

If it does qualify as approved by the World Health Organization, they still believe it is "insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection or source control" so what is really going on here?

You decide.