With all the hoopla about wearing masks during this pandemic, not once have I heard anyone say this simple act is primarily for the BENEFIT OF OTHERS. You spew-out bits of saliva whenever air exits your nose or mouth.
The more forcefully air is expelled, the farther your germ-ridden saliva flies into the air around you. That’s why most people cup a hand over their mouth when they sneeze, cough, or even yawn.
The human hand isn’t a great filter for catching spittle, but it does catch some of the gunk. That’s why you often need to wipe your hand on something (don’t wanna know…) after sneezing.
If your saliva carries coronavirus germs, you’re putting others at risk of contracting COVID-19. Some of those folks may have an increased risk of contracting the virus. They may even be unable to fend off the virus and die a torturous death. Someone you love may even die of COVID-19...eventually.
A suitable mask--disposable or clothe--worn correctly catches a whole lot more saliva than a hand. (Kind of like the difference between straining food through a colander vs. a strainer.)
A mask will catch some of the spittle you’d otherwise inhale, but more importantly it WILL STOP lots of the saliva droplets you exhale. Being asked or required to wear a mask isn’t a violation of your freedom, it’s good, old common sense.