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Cleveland Fed: Older Pop Most Likely to Wear Face Masks


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Cleveland Fed researchers conducted a survey about wearing face masks. They found strong evidence that older respondents are much more likely to follow mask-wearing requirements than younger respondents. This backs up the recent trend of a rapid escalation of new coronavirus cases among younger individuals.

Medical professionals widely accept that wearing face coverings can greatly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. When coupled with good social distancing, economic shutdowns may be eliminated. This idea was reinforced in the Cleveland Fed’s survey results on mask-wearing article.

“Masks or cloth face coverings have the potential to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 without greatly disrupting economic activity if they are widely used. To assess the state of mask wearing, we surveyed US consumers about their recent and prospective mask-wearing behavior. We find that most respondents are wearing masks in public but that some respondents are less likely to follow social-distancing guidelines while doing so, indicating a potential tradeoff between two of the recommended methods that jointly reduce coronavirus transmission. While most respondents indicated that they were extremely likely to wear a mask if required by public authorities, the reported likelihood is strongly dependent on age and perceived mask efficacy.”

Cleveland Fed: Face Masks Survey
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The survey found that most respondents were very likely to wear a mask, if required to do so by public authorities. However, researchers discovered that mask wearing realities were strongly age-dependent. Older respondents were far more likely to actually wear face coverings than the younger respondents.

All populations need to adopt wearing face masks to support the economic recovery. Public awareness campaigns on mask-wearing effectiveness is crucial. Additional research on mask efficacy is also very important.

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