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“If everyone is wearing a mask, there will be less viral particles potentially aerosolized in the first place,” Dr. Erum Ilyas, a dermatologist and functional textiles expert, told Healthline. “It will reduce the viral load in the environment to also impact the effectiveness of masks.”
“To understand this, think about swim goggles,” Ilyas said. “They are not 100 percent effective at blocking water from entering when underwater because there is a huge water load to block. I’d bet they are pretty darn close to 100 percent effective at blocking water from entering while above water, where there is little to block.”