The Abstract Podcast

Unmasking the facts about face masks

In this episode, we discuss how the widespread adoption of face masks could help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Originally Published: 

Just as we begin to emerge from 2020’s tidal wave of perpetual pandemic panic, experts warn about a potential “second wave” of coronavirus. However, you may not have to restock on the extra toilet paper, alcohol, and video games just yet. Thankfully, a resurgence isn't totally inevitable or out of our control.

As public health experts keep telling us, there is a cheap but powerful tool in our arsenal to stop this dreaded boomerang effect in its tracks: face masks. While mask advocates call for universal adoption of face masks, science confirms that if only half the population covered up, the second wave of Covid-19 could be entirely prevented.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss how the widespread adoption of face masks could help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Our first story is about the research showing face masks can dramatically curb Covid-19 cases if at least 50 percent of people wear them. While masks aren’t a catch-all, experts stress they’re one of the most effective, practical tools to beat back Covid-19 — especially in resource-strapped areas of the world.

Our second story looks at how to further get this mask messaging across. Through a series of interconnected pro-mask initiatives that stretch from the United States to Czech Republic, viral movements are looking to change mask policies around the world — and some are succeeding.

Read the original Inverse stories here:

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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