Majority of Millennials, Gen Z wear masks in public, survey suggests

Dr. Jeffrey Tipton said it’s easy to stereotype Gen Z and Millennials and assume they are not wearing face masks, but a recent survey suggests that the majority of those generations are doing their part amid the COVID 19 pandemic.

The survey, conducted between July 27 and July 29 by Engine Insights on behalf of SQ Medical Supplies, questioned 1,004 adults.

It found a majority of the youngest generations wear masks all the time or most of the time while in public.

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Of Gen Z respondents (ages 18 - 23), 62% said they wear a mask. That number drops to 54% when examining Millennials (ages 24 - 39).

Doctors have stressed that young people aren’t immune from the disease.

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Though the survey shows a clear majority of younger people pulling their weight when it comes to wearing facial coverings, Millennials had the lowest percentage of respondents claiming to wear masks.

Sixty-one percent of Generation X (ages 40 - 55) said they wear masks while 69 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 56 - 74) said they do the same.

In all, surveyors said 86% of respondents reported wearing masks, which Tipton said is welcomed news.

“The truth is, adults of all ages are wearing masks these days, and that’s positive news as we continue to combat COVID-19,” Tipton said in a news release. “Do all masks protect us perfectly? Well, no, but something is better than nothing.”

As the pandemic has progressed, health experts have repeatedly cited the benefits that masks provide to wearers in helping to prevent infection and the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Mask mandates have become more commonplace in cities and states, with multiple businesses and organizations requiring that customers wear one when entering their establishments. 

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Researchers and scientists are now learning that not only does wearing a mask reduce viral transmission, but it may also help you avoid major illness, even if you end up contracting the novel coronavirus.

The hypothesis is explained in an article published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine by Dr. Monica Gandhi which further lays out a second theory — that wearing a mask actually results in milder disease if you do get COVID-19.

One study, published in the Oxford University Press, found that surgical mask partitions significantly reduced the transmission and severity of infection of the novel coronavirus among hamsters. The mask partitions reduced the viral load in the hamsters that did get infected, as they were found to have less virus within their bodies than those infected without a mask.

This story was reported from Atlanta.