Face masks have become politicized, but health authorities say they definitely help stop transmission of COVID-19. Now that so many of us wear them when we venture out of our homes, people are using them as accessories. That’s cool. But have you noticed some people wearing their face masks pulled down below their noses? That’s really not cool. To get the full benefit from wearing a face mask, you need to make sure to cover your nose as well as your mouth.
Why Should You Cover Your Nose With Your Mask?
Researchers have found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 targets cells in the nose (Cell, July 23, 2020). These nasal cells are especially rich in ACE2 receptors. As a result, they are especially susceptible to infection. SARS-2 utilizes ACE2 receptors to enter human cells before it starts replicating. Nasal cells, with more of these receptors, are ripe for viral replication.
Consequently, the scientists say that you must cover your nose as well as your mouth to protect yourself from infection. In addition, sneezes readily spread virus-containing particles into the air. That’s why making sure your nose is covered helps you protect others if you become infected.