Ever since the outbreak of COVID 19 happened the demand and utility of all kinds of masks have tremendously increased. The masks making industry enormously gained worldwide popularity and masks became an essential item for every person and every household.
But have you ever wondered that which masks are the best during this pandemic?
In case you are using fabric masks then they should be made of three layers of fabric: Inner layer of absorbent material, such as cotton. Middle layer of non-woven and non-absorbent material. Outer layer of any non-absorbent material, such as polyester or polyester blend.
If you are buying a fabric mask from a store, then make sure it meets national performance standards.
Various researches have shown that cloth and medical-grade face masks can cut down the corona virus spread by 80% or more.
Not all types of masks are created equally and not all kinds of masks are apt for everyone.
N95 masks have proved to provide the best protection against corona virus. It keeps both the wearer and the people around them safe. These masks are quite popular amongst the healthcare workers and people working on the frontline.
To ensure that the mask helps us to prevent the spread of corona virus, one should choose a mask that fits the face well. Ensure that it covers both your mouth and nose, so that there are no gaps around the edges through which droplets can come out.
One must try to get a cloth face mask with at least three layers of fabric. The more layers, the better protection it will provide.
It is also very essential to wash your cloth face masks on regular basis. You can do a machine wash and dry it without causing any damage or bringing any change to its shape. If your mask doesn’t fit properly or loses its shape after its been washed then you should discard it immediately and use a different one.
How Face Masks Work
When a person who is infected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or talks, they transmit tiny droplets of saliva into the air that leads to the spread of corona virus.
That is where a face mask helps.
A face mask covers your mouth and nose and it can block the spread of droplets into the air when you cough or sneeze. This helps in lowering the spread of corona virus.
Multi-layer cloth masks helps in reducing the transmission of virus. They block up to 50-70% of fine droplets and particles and can lower the spread of those particles that were not traced. Cloth masks also lessens the spread of infectious droplets by filtering fine droplets and particles.
While a cloth face mask does not block the spread of corona virus, it is an added layer of protection for you and the people around you. You should always use them along with regular hand washing and social distancing measures like staying atleast 2 metres from others.
N95 masks and surgical masks are mostly reserved for healthcare workers and front line responders because there are not enough of those masks for everyone. It is important that reach the doctors, nurses and other medical staff members who need them more.
- N95 masks fit tightly around the face. They filter 95% or more of the smallest particles in the air. But they have to fit just right in order to work their best.
- Surgical masks are often in blue colour with white borders. They fit loosely across the nose and mouth. These masks work as a shield against the large droplets that come from a sick person's coughing or sneezing, but they are too loose to protect against all germs and they cannot block the tiniest particles that may carry corona virus.
In addition to other protective measures, such as social or physical distancing and proper hand hygiene, face masks may be an easy, inexpensive, and an effective way to stay safe and flatten the COVID 19 curve.
Why Do Face Masks Matter During Coronavirus?
With the new variant of corona virus, the largest amount of viral shedding, or transmission, happens early during the course of the disease. Therefore, people might be contagious before they even begin to show symptoms.
However, scientific models suggest that up to 80% of transmission stems from asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
When is It Important to Wear a Mask?
It is very important to wear cloth face masks in public settings where compliance to physical distancing measures may be difficult to achieve and maintain. Given below are some key in areas where community-based transmission is high.
This includes, settings such as:
- grocery stores
- pharmaceutical stores
- hospitals and other healthcare settings
- job sites, especially if physical distancing measures isn’t feasible
In addition to the social or physical distancing and use of proper hand hygiene, many health experts consider the using face masks is a key measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Though the homemade cloth masks are not as effective at filtering out small particles as respirators or surgical masks but they offer more protection than not wearing any face mask at all.