To Mask Or Not To Mask?

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As per an article published by Statista, based on an Ipsos survey of 28,000 people in 15 countries, despite people around the world embracing face masks as a precaution against the Coronavirus pandemic, the habit hasn’t quite caught on in Europe and the U.S. yet.

The exception is Italy, a country hit hard and early by the coronavirus. In Italy, 81% of survey participants said they had worn a face mask because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was comparable with the responses from China, Japan and India. Vietnam had the most people (91%) saying they wore a mask because of COVID-19, as per Ipsos data. Face masks became mandatory in some Italian regions in early April but were embraced in many places throughout the country even earlier.

Authorities in other Western countries were slower to recommend covering one’s face to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, with experts pointing to the limitations of using face masks, the possibility of increasing shortages of masks for health care workers and the many ways of using a mask the wrong way.

Despite those and other drawbacks, several European nations are now thinking about making masks compulsory, for example during activities such as shopping. Several German states have just made the practice mandatory in more crammed settings. According to the Ipsos survey, only 20% of Germans had used a mask by April 12. Wearing a mask was also made mandatory in seven American states and encouraged in many others after a CDC recommendation in early April, resulting in the fact that 50% of Americans have at least given them a try. In France, mask wearing was recommended nationwide, and 34% have tried them out.

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