Controversies surrounding the face mask - the benevolent preventer of coronavirus transmission!

As countries begin to reopen their economies, facemasks, an essential tool to curb the spread of COVID-19, is struggling to find acceptance.

Let's take a look:

Controversial

Facemasks have been controversial in the West for over a decade.

Health experts believe that when it comes to public health, experience has shown that a light touch is the most effective way of convincing Americans to wear it.  However, enforcing such a decision will invite backlash.

(Photograph:AFP)

Culprits

Facemasks, perhaps the most physical manifestation of coronavirus, has become a political football due to governments and their advisors.

Researchers and governments who advice a simple piece of cloth as a protective and effective way to prevent the spread of the virus, say the early cacophony in official advice and cultural factors have hampered the general adoption of masks.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Over-reaction

The mask requirements have met more pushback in conservative-leaning countries where people view lockdown as an over-reaction not worth the economic cost.

(Photograph:AFP)

Cultural factors

The practice to wear facemasks differ on the basis of cultural factors as well because their are certain countries that are used to covering themselves up for the sake of protection. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Old practice

The practice of wearing facemasks to prevent infections started in the late 19th century. 

It was introduced by Polish surgeon Jan Mikulicz Radecki in 1987. 

(Photograph:AFP)