Why are face coverings necessary if we feel fine and healthy?

It's one of the most visible changes when you go to the grocery store - people walking around in masks. But some confusion remains about why we have to wear them.

In Michigan, if you're out in public in an enclosed place it's now mandatory that you wear a face covering. But not everybody wants to do that. 

In this week alone, two violent crimes have happened that involved the perpetrator being asked to wear a face mask. A security guard at a Dollar Store in Flint was shot dead after asking a shopper to wear one, and in the other instance, a man assaulted a Dollar Tree employee in Holly after he was asked to put one on. He was then seen wiping his nose on her shirt

So why are face coverings necessary if we feel fine and healthy? 

"What it does is it prevents the transmission from you if you actually get the virus, so you're preventing the transmission to other individuals. It's not helping you not to catch the infection. It's only to prevent the transmission, especially for some of us who get an asymptomatic infection," explains Dr. Odaliz Abreu-Lanfranco, an infectious disease specialist with Henry Ford Health System.

"It's not so much for your own safety, it's the safety of you stopping the transmission to others."

It's one of the most troubling aspects of the coronavirus - you can have the virus and spread it and not even know it. So, wearing a mask even when you feel fine may stop the spread. 

Remember, droplets do fly out of our mouths just even when we're just talking, not just when coughing or sneezing. 

You can hear more from the doctor about common COVID-19 questions here or in the video player below.