The CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force today said to cover one’s face with a cloth mask when going into a store or an enclosed public space.
As someone on Twitter noted: how come masks are required for healthcare workers, but wearing nothing at all was recommended for the public, when they can come into close contact with other people .. even as they try to avoid them, and given that persons might be asymptomatic but still contagious? It never made sense.
A doctor on TV pointed out that wearing any kind of mask sends an important signal to others: something is seriously amiss (aka: a P-A-N-D-E-M-I-C). So everyone in public should avoid close contact, and not spread germs (and viruses). It also reminds the wearer not to touch his or her face.