I touched on the notion of "viral load" in another thread a few weeks ago: the idea that the more there is of some disease organism in a body, that is, the more microbes there are of it in that body, the greater the risk of serious disease occurrence from the presence of those microbes.
That earlier discussion was largely theoretical, while the article below relates this concept specifically to the wearing of masks during a period of infectious disease..
From the article:“The more virus you get into your body, the more sick you are likely to get."
" ... masks can lead to milder or asymptomatic infections by cutting down on the dose of virus people take in."
" ... masks, which filter out a majority of viral particles, can lead to a less severe infection if you do get one.”
and (I did not know this!)" ... the earliest vaccines, which were documented in 16th century China, involved exposing someone to a small amount of smallpox virus to induce mild illness and subsequent immunity."
and"A small number viral particles is more likely to be quelled by the immune system before they can proliferate."
The author then goes on to discuss evidence that mask wearing did seem to reduce severity of COVID symptoms among cruise ship passengers and meat processing workers in recent months.
By analogy: if you meet a bully on the street and fight him, there's a chance you will take him down. But if you try to fight four
bullies on the street, it's more likely they'll take you
So wearing a mask really would seem to increase your chances of beating the viral bullies.https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/07/418181/one-more-reason-wear-mask-youll-get-less-sick-covid-19