Appropriate usage of face masks to prevent SARS-CoV-2: sharpening the messaging amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, several governments are recommending or mandating cloth masks and face coverings to mitigate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission. Unfortunately, instances of people inappropriately wearing masks continue to be witnessed in public and on social media as they have become part of our “new normal”. In this article, we challenge inaccurate communication on community masking and argue for the need to improve public health messaging. Health education, effective communication, and community engagement are critical to enhancing appropriate mask wearing, compliance, and acceptability. Also, we highlight the need to research downsides of masks and mask adherence practices in order to implement strategies aimed at maximizing the benefits of masking.
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