The coronavirus has impacted just about everyone. It has left countries under lockdown. As countries continue to struggle at the hands of Covid-19, it is crucial that we wear our face masks at all times, especially when venturing outside. Make sure to wear a face mask from a reliable company such as Health Mask to ensure that you are protected.
As Covid-19 spreads through respiratory droplets from one person to another, it is important we do not breathe these droplets in. Respiratory droplets tend to travel in the air when we talk, sing, shout, sneeze, and cough. Then, these droplets can easily land into nose or mouth of another person near you.
Why Do We Need To Wear Face Masks?
Face masks are essential for preventing respiratory droplets from reaching other people. They provide a protective barrier. Research reveals that wearing a face mask significantly reduces the chances of droplets entering your body through the mouth or nose.
Even if you are not sick, you should still put on a face mask. The reason behind this is that studies show that there are some people who have Covid-19 but do not develop any symptoms. Moreover, there are also those who have yet to develop symptoms that can infect others. The main purpose of face masks is to provide you and those around you with protection.
Types of Face Masks
When in market for face masks, you will come across a variety of options as mentioned below.
- Cloth Masks
Cloth masks are widely used to help curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the most effective fabrics for cloth masks include the following.
- Two to three layers
- Tightly woven fabrics like cotton and cotton blends
However, there are some less effective fabrics which you should beware of as mentioned below.
- Single layer
- Offer difficulty in breathing
- Loosely woven fabrics
CDC is studying how effective different types of cloth mask materials are and will publish guidance accordingly.
- Non-Medical Disposable Masks
If you are looking for single-use masks, then, you will find disposable face masks to be a great choice. They can be found at most retail outlets and can be bought online. But, please keep in mind that they are not the same as medical masks such as surgical ones.
Disposable masks are commonly used in situations where the mask would get dirty or wet. Similar to when getting cloth masks, you need to get disposable masks that fit closely to the mouth and do not have any large side-gaps. This means that the mask should cover your mouth and nose completely.
- Masks with Exhalation Vents or Valves
When considering getting masks with exhalation vents or valves, it is important that you remember that CDC does not recommend people to use such masks as it might not be able to protect you. As there is a hole in the material, it might cause respiratory droplets to reach others. Further research on the use of masks with exhalation vents or valves is underway.
- Respirators and Surgical Masks
Although respirators and surgical masks are effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, it is best that you do not use them as they are meant for workers at the frontlines. There is a shortage of respirators and surgical masks which means that they should only be used by healthcare workers and those serving patients.
- Clear Masks
Clear masks are also used by people who require an alternative mask. There are also cloth masks that have a clear plastic panel. These masks are suitable for people who interact with the following type of people.
- Those who have to see the shape of their mouth for appropriate vowel sounds such as in case of signing.
- People that have disabilities.
- Students who are trying to learn a new language.
- Students or young children learning how to read.
- People who have trouble hear or are deaf.
If using this type of mask, you need to make sure of the following.
- Breathe easily.
- Remove the mask to sleep as the plastic part could easily form a seal which would make it extremely difficult for you to breathe.
- Excess moisture should not collect under the mask.
The FDA has cleared transparent medical masks. However, these should be reserved for patients and healthcare workers that need them most.
When Should You Wear A Face Mask?
Face masks help save lives. They should be worn when you cannot remain at least 6 feet away from others. As the coronavirus spreads when people come into close contact with each other, face masks should always be worn when in a public space. Not only does the coronavirus help those around you, but it also provides you with some protection.
Now, it is important to note that the fabric used to make the face mask influences just how effective it is as well as the number of layers it has.
Who Needs To Wear A Face Masks?
Face masks should be worn by the following.
- Everyone should wear a face mask in a public space.
- When around other people.
- If caring for someone who might have Covid-19.
- When around animals.
- When you have Covid-19.
Who Should Not Wear A Face Mask?
Face masks should not be worn by the following.
- Children less than 2 years of age.
- Anyone that has trouble with breathing.
- Anyone who is incapacitated or unconscious.
- Anyone who requires assistance to remove the face mask.
- Someone who has sensory or cognitive issues in which case, wearing a mask would not be tolerated by the wearer.
Face masks provide us with a tool to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. It is crucial that we all follow SOPs strictly and wear a face mask in the situations mentioned above. This is the time for us to come together.