In some countries, particularly in Eastern Asia, wearing a cloth face mask when dealing with allergies or illness is a cultural norm. In many Western countries, like the United States, however, the practice isn’t common, save for those with chronic illnesses, for whom a simple cold could be disastrous. People generally don’t enjoy change and, amidst the constant adjustments of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the resistance has proven itself to be even stronger.

Resistance or not, scientists agree that wearing a face mask is almost always a good idea. Experts aren’t certain of how much a cloth mask will help keep you from contracting the virus yourself, but they agree that it will help slow the coronavirus spread. In conjunction with proper social distancing and the growing research in the medical field, even stopping the spread of COVID-19 could be possible.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that those “older than 2 years of age in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain” as well as those who have trouble breathing wear masks.

Assuming you fall into that first category, you should be wearing a face mask or other type of cloth face cover while grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, or being in public places within six feet of other people. Health care workers and other essential workers have been wearing face masks daily during the pandemic, and while it may not seem comfortable at first, you should be wearing one, too. It’s worth noting that the risks associated with wearing face covers are minimal, beyond a bit of discomfort; wearing a face mask will cause neither CO2 intoxication nor oxygen deficiency.

You can even make a statement with your fabric face mask. Across the globe, sellers have made a variety of creative face mask designs, so your mask can become an accessory as much as a protective device. These reusable face covers come in different patterns and with a variety of images: cover your face with tie-dye, camouflage, or even galaxy prints!

Why Buy a Cloth Mask Now?

It’s important to remember that there’s more to your face mask than its design: it can literally save lives. If you haven’t bought your face coverings already, here are a few more reasons why you should do so as soon as possible:

You’re doing what you can to protect others


If you’re entering public places, especially those where social distancing is difficult, face covers will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even if you’ve shown no symptoms, it’s possible that you could be asymptomatic (or presymptomatic) and pass the virus on to someone who’s at high-risk, whether that’s your grandparent or a stranger with a heart condition. By opting for a cloth mask, you’ll also be doing your part to ensure that medical professionals have access to the surgical masks and n95 respirators they need to keep us all safe.

You’re setting a good example


If you have children, you typically want to set a good example for them. That includes teaching them to be the kind of selfless person who makes sacrifices for others. Be that good example by wearing your face covers in public, and help them learn the proper way to do the same. No kids? There’s almost certainly someone else looking up to you: be a good example for them.

Your life will return to normal more quickly


Or, at least, a new version of “normal.” by doing what you can to help stop the spread of COVID-19—including utilizing your face mask—you’ll be making a difference in bringing the United States and the world back to some sense of normality.

If you haven’t stocked up already, be sure to order a face mask as soon as possible and follow the CDC and WHO guidelines for wearing it.

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