Lab Report by Xiaohu

The Use of Masks and the Importance of Social Distance During COVID-19


It is nearly the end of 2020, and the number of cases is still increasing after we were locked at home for seven months. People seemed to ignore the fact that this is a serious virus. They refuse to wear masks and social distancing. Based on the mask usage between different groups, the group of people that had mask on their face seemed less likely to get infected. Comparing the number of cases before and after the quarantine. We can clearly see that there is a success in the quarantine. The lab shows that masks and social distancing are extremely important to end pandemic.


Year 2020 is a disaster for all of us because of the pandemic. After a 7 months quarantine, we even have a greater number of cases. One of the reasons why we can’t make any progress in this quarantine is because people are thinking individually. For the past centuries, people learned that individual freedom is over everything. It is more important than the community benefit, and it is over their lives. That kind of mindset is the reason they don’t wear masks. They give an excuse that masks are useless, but study and statistic showed that masks are an important tool to prevent from getting the virus. According to the article, “Health experts say the evidence is clear that masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that the more people wearing masks, the better.” (Nina, 2020) Economy is another reason why COVID -19 is not in control. Many places were reopened before the virus is in control. The purpose of this lab is to demonstrate the importance of masks and social distancing.


I compared the masks usage between different groups, as well as sexes. For social distancing, I compared the number of cases before and after NYC is opened. I divided them into three groups showed below:

            Group 1: Masks usage between Republicans and Democrats

            Group 2: Masks usage between Men and Women

            Group 3: Number of cases before and after NYC is opened

For group one and two. We could analyze the number of cases between these different groups to see if masks are effective for the virus or not. If one group had less masks usage, and it had a greater number of cases, then it could show that masks are useful. However, if two groups had a closed number of cases, then it is inconclusive. For group three. If the NYC had more cases when it is open, and it had less cases when it is closed. It means that we should stay home during the pandemic and have less contact with strange people.


Group 1: Republicans had 24% people always wear a mask, 22% people often wear a mask and 27% people NEVER wear a mask. Democrats had 61% people always wear a mask, 33% people always wear a mask and only 1% people NEVER wear a mask. (Megan, 2020) Republican had more case rate (per 100,000) than democrat.

Group 2: There are 34% male always wear a mask, 29% male often wear a mask and 20% male never wear a mask. There are 54% female always wear a mask, 27% female often wear a mask and 8% never wear a mask. (Megan, 2020) According to the article by Roni, “To date, there have been nearly 43 Covid-19 deaths for every 100,000 men in the city, compared with 23 such deaths for every 100,000 women, according to figures reported by the city’s health department.” (Roni 2020)

Group 3: New York City was closed for 6 months after April, and the number of cases decreased to nearly 800 cases a day from about 10000 cases a day. After the restaurant reopening on September 30th, the cases went up to about 2000 cases a day from about 800 cases a day.

Masks usage between different groups
Case rate between republican and democrat
NYC number of cases statistic
By The New York Times, November 3, 2020



From the result generated by group 1 and group 2, we can see that people who wear masks have less change to get infected. And in fact, these people have less cases reported. This can demonstrate the effectiveness of masks. From the image 3, we can see that there is a trend that the numbers are decreasing, and it is during the time when New York City is closed for business, especially restaurant cannot do dine in. There is an increasing trend on October because the city is partially reopened, and restaurant can do dine in after September 30th. This illustrated that closing the city is really helpful for controlling the virus.

There might be other reasons that could affect the result. The result of group 1, republicans are going out more than democrats during the pandemic. For the result of group 2, men smoke more than women, and they are physically different from women. All these factors could affect the final result.


The statistic showed the importance of masks and social distancing. A vaccine will not stop the virus from spreading, but a mask will slow it down. Only the understanding and cooperation between us can end this disaster.



Nina Bai. “Nina Bai. “Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent

Coronavirus” Patient Care (June 26, 2020)

MEGAN BRENAN. “Americans’ Face Mask Usage Varies Greatly by Demographics” Politics. (JULY 13, 2020)  demographics.aspx

Roni Caryn Rabin. “In N.Y.C., the Coronavirus Is Killing Men at Twice the Rate of Women” New York Times.

(April 7, 2020)

HAYLEY FOWLER. “How do COVID-19 cases compare among Democrat- or Republican-led states? Study

finds out” (OCTOBE 21,2020)

New York Times. “New York Covid Map and Case Count” (November 3, 2020)