Do I have to wear a mask even in such hot weather?
As a person who hates masks, I would rather worry about heat stroke than a mask for COVID-19. Heat stroke and COVID-19 are completely different as the nature of the disease, so it is not possible to make a simple comparison, but I would like to compare the degree of threat independently using statistical data on heat stroke and COVID-19.
Deaths from heat stroke
The following figure shows the annual number of deaths from heat stroke in Japan. This is based on data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s website , “The number of deaths from heat stroke (demographic statistics)”. It can be seen that the number of deaths of heat stroke varies greatly from year to year and depends largely on the climate characteristics of the year. There is a tendency that the number of people who have been experiencing extreme weather has been increasing recently.
The following figure shows the number of deaths from heat stroke by age in 2018. Of course, the older you are, the greater the mortality rate. 87% of the total number of people over the age of 60.
Deaths from COVID-19
The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Japan is 1,052 (as of August 11, 2020). Since the number of fatalities began to appear in Japan in February, it has been the number so far in about six months to date.
The number of deaths from heat stroke every year and the number of deaths from COVID-19 to date are shown in the figure below. The average number of heat stroke deaths each year is approximately the same as that of COVID-19 deaths.
If you graph the number of deaths caused by COVID-19 by age, it will be shown below. Of course, the mortality rate increases in the elderly, and the result is 95% in the age of 60 or older.
Since the number of deaths from heat stroke in 2018 is higher than that of deaths from COVID-19 to date, at the current level of COVID-19, attention to heat stroke should be more important than COVID-19. It is thought that it is necessary to act in favor of the danger of the body to the heat without forcing the mask whose effects are not clear.
In addition, heat stroke has a larger mortality rate in the younger generation than COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 do not have a vaccine or treatment method established, there are few deaths due to normal immune function, while heat stroke has been well known for its measures, but even the younger generation has died some extent. Here, forcing masks on all generations will pose a danger not only to the elderly but also to the younger generation.
Currently, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare recommends removing the mask when it is more than 2 meters away from the person as a measure against heat stroke. Remove the mask to protect yourself without being bound by the manners of an impossible mask.