Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Face masks for the public during covid-19

Covid-19: are face masks a good long term strategy?

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2005 (Published 20 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m2005
  1. Sheung-Tak Cheng, university professor
  1. Department of Health and Physical Education, Education University of Hong Kong, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong
  1. takcheng{at}eduhk.hk

Greenhalgh and colleagues1 and Javid and colleagues2 argue for public use of face masks or coverings. Despite known problems with compliance in flu seasons, the authors suggest that people might be more motivated to wear masks to avoid the more deadly SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, a factor contributing to non-adherence is “mask fatigue.” Most people (including some health professionals3) cannot tolerate wearing a mask all day; others can but quickly develop resistance to using it further.

Another question is …

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