Study Estimates That Mask-Wearing Could Save More Than 100,000 Lives in the US Between Now and February

By now, you probably own multiple face masks. You might even have ones to match different outfits. If you are consistent about wearing a face mask when you are in public, that’s wonderful, but not everyone is.

There have been multiple studies that show that wearing a face mask is an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There have also been multiple instances of people ignoring the guidelines about wearing a face mask, and sometimes, people ended up getting very sick and regretting their decision.

Perhaps putting a number on the effectiveness of mask wearing will help motivate all of us to keep being consistent about wearing masks in public places. According to a new study, if we all wear face masks anytime we’re out in public, more than 100,000 American lives could be saved by February.

First of all, yes we’re talking about 2021. We know, we know. We were all hoping that the new year would yield some sort of end to COVID-19 and we could put this unfortunate year behind us, but buying a new calendar doesn’t eradicate a virus. 

Perhaps we can make 2021 a better year by following the best practice of wearing a face mask. One hundred thousand is a lot of lives saved, and that sounds like a good way to start the new year.

Perhaps you’re skeptical about where this number came from. In order to arrive at this number, researches looked at COVID-19 data from February through September. This included cases of people who tested positive as well as deaths. They used this data along with other research to arrive at the 100,000 lives saved.

One thing that researchers discovered is that in September less than 50% of Americans said that they wore a face mask every time they were in a public place. 

If Americans continue to ignore face mask wearing guidelines, the number of COVID-19 related deaths could surpass 1 million by the end of February.

In another scenario, researchers looked at what would happen if states shut down if COVID-19 deaths surpassed 8 per million people. In that scenario, the total COVID-19 related deaths would be approximately 511,000 by the end of February.

In the best case scenario, if Americans wear face masks and practice social distancing, COVID-19 related deaths would be around 381,798 by the end of February.

Do you always wear a face mask in public? Does this data motivate you to be more consistent about wearing a face mask in public?