There's another reason to mask up in public as COVID-19 lingers on. You could have a less severe infection should you become exposed.
Texas A&M Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis & Immunology Julian Liebowitz says doing so cuts your chance of getting infected by 50 to 75 percent.
If the person you're in the room also wears one it cuts down their ability to transmit by 50 to 75 percent. And should you be exposed, it would be with a much smaller dose.
For example, ten percent of viral particles may leak out from a mask wearer as opposed to a full dose from someone not wearing one. It's called a dose response effect. "If you are wearing a mask and it filters out the majority of the virus, you'll get a smaller dose. You are much more likely to get a mild or an asymptomatic disease. But it's not going to be 100 percent effective."
He cautions certain populations such as older people or those with underlying health issues still have a high, but not as high chance of getting a severe infection.
Liebowitz equates this to playing 21. "If you start out with 20, you have a lot better chance of winning."