Now, when coronavirus has become a global pandemic and there is no cure or vaccine for that as of now, we will have to take protective measures to stop it from spreading. Among all protective measures, face masks are an effective way to stay safe from COVID-19. Government, health agencies, including the World Health Organization, encourage people to use masks when out in public.
There are many types of masks and coverings are available but to stay safe from the virus when you’re in a public place, you need to know what’s good for you. So, which face mask is the best for coronavirus? Read on to learn more!
Also, read: How to Prepare Yourself to Prevent COVID 19?
Best Face Mask For Corona Virus
First in our list are- respirators. These are tested face masks with N95 or N99 rating, especially for the air pollution and made of fibers that are highly effective at filtering PM of the air. Most of such respirators come with valves that make it easier to breathe.
When it comes to protecting from corona, these masks are quite effective. As the diameter of the coronavirus is approx. 125 nm, while N95 certified respirators can filter 95 percent of particles that are 100 to 300 nm in size and N99 respirators can filter 99% of these. There are also N100 respirators that can filter 99.7% of these particles.
However, there could be a downside to these masks. If the person wearing these masks is infected then he can exhale the virus through these valves.
Then there come surgical masks. These are mainly disposable, single-use masks that are made from the soft breathable fabric into a rectangle shape and come pleats that can be expanded to cover your nose and mouth.
Unlike respirator masks, surgical face masks don’t come with any filtration standards like N95 or N99. They just form an airtight seal on your face area and save you from various air pollutants. In the case of the corona, studies have found that surgical masks do reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Last, there are homemade or we can say DIY masks. These masks can be made at home using just cotton or any other breathable cloth. These masks are slightly less effective at protecting from various pollutants as these have gaps near the nose and cheeks.
Also, the fabric used in homemade masks is often not effective to keep out tiny droplets. Although cloth masks seem less effective than respirators and surgical masks, however, they are still better than no mask at all.
When to Wear a Mask?
We all should wear face masks in public places where maintaining physical distancing is difficult. These are highly recommended in zones where transmission is high. But, if you living in such an area, make sure that you step out only in case of any emergency.
Apart from those zones, all other people in all zones should also wear masks all the time going out in places like grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and workplaces where physical distancing can’t be maintained properly.
Should We All Wear Mask?
This is not a tough question to ask. But we need to very smart in this case. We should understand that surgical mask and respirator supplies are limited and they are also needed by healthcare professionals who undoubtedly need them more than anyone else. So, these should be reserved for those first responders of the virus.
Everyone else can try to wear at least a homemade mask as of now. People who have breathing issues or can’t wear or remove their masks on their own, shouldn’t wear one. Also, children under the age of 2 should not be worn masks as they may get suffocated.
Tips to Wear Face Mask
These are some tips to keep in mind while wearing face masks:
- Wash your hands or use alcohol-based sanitizer to clean your hands each time you put on or remove the mask.
- Do not touch the surface of the face mask while in public.
- Put on and take off the mask by holding it by ties and not by touching the front.
- Make sure the face mask is not loose and fits tightly on the nose area.
- Wash, sanitize or keep it in sun for a while after using.
Apart from wearing masks, physical distancing, and proper hygiene, especially of hands is the key measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As we are waiting for the lockdown to end and return to work, make sure to use appropriate face masks while going out every time as it will help as a layer of safety.