Science Says: Face Masks Make a Difference

September 16, 2020 2 min read

Science Says: Face Masks Make a Difference


We know what it takes to make an  effective face mask.

We know where to get one (hint:  right here).

Now, it’s time to dig into the science of WHY they’re so important…

...but this time, don’t take it from us.

We’re clearly biased in the “masks are awesome department,” so we wanted to surface some other credible sources who feel that way, too. Hear it from researchers and doctors across the US:

“Different kinds of masks ‘block virus to a different degree, but they all block the virus from getting in.’ If any virus particles do breach these barriers, she said, the disease might still be milder.”



So says Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco, in a new study soon to be published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Her research shows masks not only protect others, but also the person wearing the mask.  The New York Times sheds more light on this study.

"I personally think that face masks are a key component of the non-pharmaceutical arsenal we have to combat COVID-19." 

Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, believes masks are an important weapon in the battle against the virus, especially now when medical solutions are still in development.  Listen to this interview from NPR NEWS.

"If you're talking, when things are coming out of your mouth, they're coming out fast. They're going to slam into the cloth mask. I think even a low-quality mask can block a lot of those droplets." 

Lindsey Marr is a researcher at Virginia Tech who specializes in the study of the airborne virus transmission. She believes masks can help block the more obvious droplets (yep, like spit) coming out of the mouth of an infected person - and sometimes, the mask can even help block the no-see-um particles as well.   Also interviewed by NPR,  Marr cites  a study from Nature Medicine

“If people knew—if they could just see—how many particles come out of their mouth when they speak, maybe that would make a difference.” 

Dr. Westman is a physician at Duke University who’s been experimenting with lasers to identify how effective masks are in blocking all the gunk that comes out of our mouths when speaking (fair warning: it’s a lot).  Read more on his research in WIRED.

At the end of the day, the books also prove  history repeats itself—and the need for masks during a pandemic is no exception.

Let’s do a better job this time around. You in?