The expert view on face masks - Alone Together podcast

This week we take an in-depth look at face masks on Alone Together (photo: Shutterstock)This week we take an in-depth look at face masks on Alone Together (photo: Shutterstock)
This week we take an in-depth look at face masks on Alone Together (photo: Shutterstock)

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Face coverings are now mandatory in many indoor settings across the UK.

In this episode of Alone Together, the podcast looks at the importance of wearing a face mask and attitudes towards them.

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Dr Simon Kolsoe, senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth and a healthcare academic, tells us more about the science behind face coverings: “The scientific evidence of wearing a face mask is uncontroversial. There is plenty of evidence from other studies that wearing a face mask does prevent infection and is helpful when prevention control is an issue.”

Listen to the episode in full:


As an ethics committee chair Dr Kolsoe has been looking into how the Government has communicated messages to the public about wearing face masks, explaining that poor messaging prevented people from understanding the arguments for wearing a mask.

“Protecting yourself is not the only reason to wear a face mask," he says. "You are wearing a mask to protect the community and to reduce the spread of the infection.’”

Dr Kolsoe also advises that masks should be worn at all times in a crowded spaces, unless you are eating and drinking.

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When checking the effectiveness of home made masks he advises doing ‘the candle test’ which involves wearing a face mask and trying to blow a candle out. If the candle can’t be blown out then it’s effective.

Our local heroes this week are the teachers at Buile Hill Academy in Salford, who have been providing support and food packages for parents who have been struggling in lockdown. The initiative supports 750 children and delivers food parcels to 155 families.

Anna Simmons, associate assistant headteacher at the school, said: “It’s a team effort from the whole staff body to our pupils and family communities.”

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