Will the mask soon be mandatory for everyone?


    Mannheim. Austria introduces a mandatory mask when shopping. What do masks bring and do we have to expect such a duty in the future? Questions and answers:

    In the future, there will be a mouth protection obligation for purchases in Austria. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that supermarkets are expected to start distributing masks at the entrances from Wednesday. The Thuringian city of Jena is also planning this measure in one week in sales outlets, public transport, and buildings with public traffic. It is even discussed in Berlin. In an application for the House of Representatives, the AfD group demands such a regulation. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) has shown itself openly. Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Soder (CSU) spoke out against it.

    What about the region?

    In Heidelberg, Mannheim, and Ludwigshafen, a mask requirement is not yet an issue. “The main thing is that facilities such as clinics, medical practices, nursing homes, and old people’s homes are equipped with protective materials,” said a spokesman for the city of Heidelberg. Mannheim and Ludwigshafen have similar comments. If required, a mask requirement makes sense, adds the spokesman for the city of Mannheim.

    What do masks bring?

    According to studies, there was a protective effect on so-called FFP masks during the SARS epidemic 2002/2003. This professional protection has a filter that is also supposed to intercept viruses. For normal surgical masks – they consist of several layers, at least one of which has a filtering effect – according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) there is insufficient evidence that they protect against infection. However, they can protect others. Experts, including virologists Christian Drosten and Alexander Kekule, believe that the spread of the virus can be slowed down in this way. Because part of the pathogens expelled by coughing, sneezing or breathing air is intercepted by the mask. A self-made model can also help. Another advantage: If you wear the mask, you won’t touch your nose and mouth – which can prevent smear infections.

    Is there anything against wearing masks?

    The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that wearing a mask can create a false sense of security. And the RKI also emphasizes: Under no circumstances should it “lead to distance rules no longer being observed or hand hygiene no longer being implemented”.

    What is the best material for a homemade mask?

    According to Bettina Lange, Deputy Head of the Hospital Hygiene Unit at Mannheim University Hospital, any substance that can withstand regular cooking is suitable. For example cotton. If you have boil-proof nonwoven, you can also insert it into the cotton fabric. The mask should fit snugly around the mouth and nose.

    Where can I get a mask if I can’t make it myself?

    Many, especially small textile companies are currently geared towards breathing masks. So also the Mannheim stocking manufacturer from Jungfeld – who sells the mouthguard online. Customers can show solidarity. Von Jungfeld offers the opportunity to donate the masks. (with TEH) 

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