Prayer #87: For the Question of Using Masks During the Coronavirus Crisis
There are differences of opinion concerning the use of masks in public places, though more and more, people are using them across the country when they go shopping and run errands, and at their jobs, in cases where their workplace has reopened. With more reopening happening, the question of using masks has come to the fore, since there are many more people now out in public on a regular basis. Just yesterday, Raleigh and Knightdale made wearing masks mandatory in all public places. The other suburbs have not yet followed suit, however.
The most definitive scientific study on this subject, completed very recently at the University of Hong Kong, studied hamsters to see if masks were effective in preventing infection from COVID-19. The study was conducted by Yuen Kwok-yung, one of the world's top Coronavirus experts. In the study, surgical masks were placed between two cages containing hamsters, with fan-driven airflow going from the cage of infected hamsters to the cage with healthy hamsters. The researchers found that non-contact transmission of the virus could be reduced by 60% if the masks were in place. If the mask barrier was removed, two-thirds of the hamsters were infected within a week.
This, to be sure, is an extremely close-quarters study with a significant amount of air movement. But many health officials say that it does indicate that masks are important to wear indoors in public places where social distancing is difficult, such as aisles in grocery stores and drug stores, especially in areas of elevated COVID-19 transmission, though as yet, not all are thoroughly convinced.
Pray for wisdom about the use of masks, especially when there is still somewhat divided opinion about them. Pray that where the wearing of masks is mandated, such as Raleigh and Knightdale have done, citizens would comply. Pray that God would give civic leaders wisdom in whether or not to require their use in public places. And, above all, continue to pray for the arresting of the spread of COVID-19.
Ps. 18:20: "This God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."