130,000 Lives In US Can Be Saved By February By Wearing Masks, Study Says

A new study, published in Nature Medicine, predicts that almost 130,000 American lives could be saved by February if 95% of Americans wore masks in public. Current projections expect the deaths to climb to over 500,000 by February. Wearing masks could save around 25% of those people!

Currently, only 49% of Americans say they always wear masks in public.


The study found that even if only 85% of Americans wear masks in public, that could still save more than 95,000 lives. But if only 49% of Americans continue to wear masks, the death toll could reach nearly a million by February 28.

Now that winter has arrived, mask-wearing is more important. Although we can catch diseases at any time, they are more prevalent during different seasons. Flu-like diseases, like COVID-19, are more common in the winter. We don't know exactly why some diseases spread better in winter yet.

Models are predicting a winter surge in cases.


Dr. Chris Murray, IHME Director, said in a press briefing:

"You can see in the paper what universal masks can do and they blunt quite a bit of the surge or delay it [...] I think it's very difficult at the point where we are in the US — where there's so much community transmission of the virus — to prevent some fall winter surge, but we can certainly make it much smaller."

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the US is already climbing.


Late October has seen daily deaths rise for the first time since August. The IHME believes that this is a sign that the fall/winter surge in cases has already begun in the US.

We have a long road ahead of us.


It is expected that cases will continue to grow over the fall and winter. The peak is expected to be in January. As pressure on hospitals increase, more social-distancing measures are expected. These are scary times, but it is not hopeless. Doing your part by wearing a mask can save lives!

h/t: CNN