The first-ever recorded case for covid-19 was December 1, 2019, in China. From that point, 2020 became the year where everything slowed down because of the covid-19 pandemic. As people want to go back to the usual thing that they do, mask mandates were imposed. Mask mandates required people to wear protective masks like N95 masks, surgical masks, and cloth masks in public. This is because masks have proven themselves effective in protecting people. Masks were the people’s first line of defense.
2021 is here and some countries have been triumphant in containing the virus. On the other hand, some countries are still doubling their efforts. Since the pandemic is still around, countries, regardless of whether they have contained the virus or not, still have existing mask mandates. But some countries have stricter mask mandates.
In North America, the United States has imposed mask mandates across all of its states. This is effective as soon as the new president takes over. Although, in the earlier parts of the year, mask mandates were only compulsory to some states. Wearing masks like the N95 mask or surgical mask depends upon the discretion of their government officials. But as soon as the new president takes over, mask mandates will become compulsory. In the worldwide tally, the United States leads the tally with 22 million positive cases.
Central and Latin America
Brazil might have the third spot in the worldwide tally. However, the Brazilian government only implemented mask mandates in selected regions in the first half of the year 2020. August of 2020 when the Brazilian government signed it into law. Also, countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Guyana have strict mask mandates. Their mask mandates were imposed nationwide by their respective governments.
Almost all of the countries belonging to the African continent have strict mask mandates. Although their cases are not as alarming as those in the top 10, this gesture from their respective governments is one way of being adept at the seriousness of the situation.
Italy had the worst-case scenario for the covid-19 response. Along with countries like France and Spain, these three countries have strict mask mandates. Italy has imposed a strict mask mandate effective October 7 of last year. France began to impose strict mask mandates as early as May. Spain, on the other hand, did not effectively impose mask mandates. This caused an outrage from the citizens, leading the state to impose it as compulsory. October when Russia imposed the mandate on a national level after having a continuous surge of positive cases. In December of last year, the Netherlands introduced the law to its citizens.
In the earlier parts of the year 2020, China was the first to impose mask mandates on its citizens. Although the country is quite successful in containing the virus, mask mandates are still in effect but of less gravity. The Philippines have imposed mask mandates by the end of March. Up to this day, the Philippine government still requires its citizens to wear masks in public.
India, being the second-highest, also has strict mask mandates. Singapore only required masks for people who are sick to avoid viral transmission. This went on for months but the Singaporean government decided to make it compulsory in public places, especially public transport. Almost all East Asian countries require their citizens to wear masks in public.
Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates have imposed mask mandates.
Australia and Oceania
Countries in the Pacific do not have any reported strict mask mandates. The Australian government only requires masks in certain parts of their country. New Zealand has been successful in containing the situation, making it for the country to lift the mandate.
Why should people wear masks?
Wearing masks like N95 masks, surgical masks, and cloth masks are essential. These masks protect people from the dangers of the virus. Without any masks on, more people will become hosts to the virus.
Which mask should people wear?
The N95 mask sits atop all the masks for it is the most effective mask. With a filtration efficiency of 95%, particles and bacteria cannot make their way to a person’s system. Also, the N95 mask is capable of achieving a tight seal. This tight seal from the N95 mask will keep the wearer from being contaminated due to leakage.
The surgical mask may not be as effective as the N95 mask. But the surgical mask can still protect people. The surgical mask has been protecting healthcare workers even before the pandemic came into the scene. The surgical mask is much more comfortable than the N95 mask.
However, the N95 mask and the surgical mask are on the brink of scarcity. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the public to wear cloth masks. The cloth mask has convenience and comfort. Coming with a variety of designs, people can choose the cloth mask of their preference.
Masks is now the symbol of defense. It will always be a reminder that the enemy is everywhere and the best way to keep people protected is by having one. Until a cure is made, masks will be a part of people’s daily routine. People should remember that masks do not aid death but it aids life. Nothing is more promising than being protected by a mask.