“If you don’t wear masks, the virus will spread further. It is as simple as that,” said Julian Tang, a clinical virologist at Leicester University.
Tang said masks clearly limit the spread of viral particles from an infected person and also cut a wearer’s chance of picking up an infection from someone else. “Masks work both ways,” he told the Observer.
“If you assume that a mask at least halves transmission, that means that for every 1,000 virus particles an infected person breathes out, only 500 will leave your mask. Then, when those particles reach someone else, similarly their masks will ensure at least a twofold reduction in the number of viruses reaching their mouths or noses. In other words, of the 1,000 virus particles an infected person has breathed out, only 250 or so will reach another person. That should reduce infection rates, and that is why masks are important.”