Publications - August 2020

Preprint and peer-reviewed publications from RECOVER’s studies

Face coverings for covid-19: from medical intervention to social practice (van der Westhuizen et al. 2020)

Covering the mouth and nose is a public health measure designed to capture respiratory droplets from the wearer (who may not have symptoms) to reduce transmission of respiratory infections. Debates about whether face coverings should be used have framed them largely as a medical intervention with benefits and harms. Although the majority of countries and public health agencies now recommend or mandate face coverings against covid-19, viewing face coverings through a medical narrative still dominates. In this article, Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen and colleagues argue that face coverings should be considered not as medical equipment but as a social practice informed by norms and expectations.

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