With the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, people in many countries around the world have started wearing face masks to protect both themselves and others they come into contact with. In this programme Rob and Sam discuss whether wearing masks in public can help prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community, in this episode of 6 Minute English.

This week’s question:
When and where were face masks first widely used? Was it:
a) 1855 in Vienna,
b) 1905 in Chicago, or
c) 1955 in London.
Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary from the programme:
equivocal – difficult to interpret because it seems to have two opposite or contradictory meanings

it stands to reason (that) – is obviously true from the facts

heated debate – discussion or argument in which people become angry and excited

emitting – sending out into the air, for example a noise or smell or a virus

mask shaming – criticising, mocking or humiliating someone for not wearing a face covering

false sense of security – belief that you are safe when you are not

To download a transcript and audio, got to our website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/6-minute-english/ep-200702

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