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Why Do Many People In Asia Wear Masks

The issue of masks alone has profoundly exposed the difference between "prevention and control measures" and "multiculturalism" in epidemic management in the context of globalization. Asians wear masks on a daily basis, while some people in Europe and the United States are resistant to masks.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have given many protection recommendations against the new coronavirus, such as washing hands frequently and avoiding physical contact with others. However, as for masks, both organizations believe that apart from medical staff, only infected patients , You need to wear a mask. If you are not infected, there is no need to wear a mask unless you have been in contact with the patient.

In contrast to the measures taken by Asian countries, governments and experts have slightly different attitudes towards masks. Chinese prevention and control experts call on the general public to go out, especially in densely populated places, to wear masks, preferably medical surgical masks and medical protective N95 masks. The governments of South Korea, Singapore and Japan have also distributed masks to residents after the outbreak.

Why do different countries take different measures? How effective is wearing a mask in preventing new coronary pneumonia?

New coronary pneumonia is mainly spread through close contact between people (after contact, the infection is caused by touching the eyes, mouth and nose with the hand that carries the virus) and droplets. Masks, taking medical surgical masks as an example, have three layers, which are used for water isolation, filtration and moisture absorption, which can help block droplets and absorb viruses.

Since masks have a certain effect on blocking droplets, why don't the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require everyone to wear masks? Many experts believe that this is mainly related to the excessive demand and insufficient supply of masks.

Faced with the limited global medical production capacity, how should countries deploy and use them more rationally in times of crisis? How to balance the rigid needs of medical staff and the preventive use of ordinary people seems to be a big problem.

In fact, whether to wear a mask is not only related to the debate on its "efficacy" and "resource allocation". Many scholars also believe that the different attitudes of the people of the East and the West towards masks also have cultural factors behind them.

In East Asia, the people's memory of SARS 17 years ago has not faded. As the hardest hit area at that time, everyone would wear masks when they went to the streets. The protective behavior in this special period slowly evolved into a social normal after the "SARS" passed.

However, in the West, group memories related to masks seem to be completely different.

Moreover, because of the small number of wearers, wearing a mask in the West generally means: I am sick, so I need to wear a mask. Masks have become a representative of illness, not a means of prevention. So once they see other people wearing masks, passers-by will feel uneasy.

The issue of masks alone has profoundly exposed the difference between "prevention and control measures" and "multiculturalism" in epidemic management in the context of globalization. Faced with the concentration of manufacturing, how should we deal with the dilemma of being unable to "self-sufficiency" in a special period? While countries are enjoying the benefits of globalization, have they ever thought about the possible disadvantages of globalization? Facing the cultural differences of different civilizations, how can we better understand and respect each other?

Presumably, this is a new problem that the world will think about after the epidemic.


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