Thanks to Engineer48 for bringing my attention to the following video from South Korea which features an interview with Professor Kim Woo-Ju, Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Korea University College of Medicine. He talks about the various ways that COVID-19 can be passed on from person to person and emphasizes the importance of wearing masks to limit the spread of the disease. He says that the disease is spread by virus-containing droplets coming from the mouths and noses of infected persons. Masks can help limit the spread of those droplets.
He notes that in Asian countries like Korea, everyone wears masks, and this helps prevent the spread of infection, whereas in European countries and the United States, wearing masks by the general public is not common, and COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly.
World Health Organization advice at this time is “If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection,” and that advice seems to have been echoed by health authorities in various countries. Bob Greenyer has informed us that this is not the case in the Czech Republic, where mask-wearing is mandatory for all persons in public places.
So maybe it is time to rethink our mask-wearing habits. However, I have read that there is a shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment) in many countries at the moment, so some people are coming up with creative ways to make masks at home out of commonly available materials.