They really should read the fine print that comes with those surgical masks. These masks are designed to prevent fluids from an open body cavity from splashing into the surgeon's mouth and nose.
They also prevent the surgeon from drooling on your spleen.
Now it's true that these masks might stop a few airbourne dropplets, but they serve little or no purpose in the observed application.
The little viruses will sail right on through the fabric and set up housekeeping in your nose.
The same goes for bacteria, mold spores, and pollen, though the mask will stop larger particles of dust such as encountered when mowing grass.
If the cleanliness of your air is this important, get a respirator...or just stay home.
-- Posted from a mobile device