How to thrive after COVID-19 arrives: San Mateo County’s mandatory face-covering order


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An infographic from the County of San Mateo demonstrates possible mask designs and suggestions for their use.

How to thrive after COVID-19 arrives is an informative blog with ideas intended to improve the lives of those who are stuck at home.

Passing the entrance to my local trailhead, I was greeted with a sign which informed me that masks are now required throughout the park. Returning home, I researched the origin of the legislation.

On April 17, 2020, the San Mateo County Health Officer issued an order requiring that everyone wears a facial covering whenever outside of their home. This idea revolves around the possibility of reducing the number of airborne particles, which may expose others nearby to the virus. The order defines a face covering as something which is made of “cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.” While the face-covering is usually done by a mask, citizens are encouraged to improvise with materials available to them to increase availability for essential workers. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also considers homemade face masks to be the last resort for essential workers if they are unable to acquire proper personal protective equipment. President Donald Trump commented on the possibility of widespread use, further popularizing the idea.

“It doesn’t have to be a mask. It can be a scarf,” Trump said. “What I do see people doing here is using scarves.”

The CDC also condones the widespread use of face coverings, creating an instructional video showcasing the various materials and techniques used to make a mask.