At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health agencies did not recommend the use of masks by the general population. However, the decision has changed. The use of masks by all people reduces the risk of transmitting Coronavirus to other people.
Even the best strategy is to sanitize your hands, use respiratory hygiene or etiquette when coughing, and not touch your face with your hands. Let’s discuss a few types of the masks that you can use to avoid getting caught by coronavirus.
Different types of masks in relation to the current epidemic
There are several masks indicated for each type of exposure.
- Cloth masks: Used by general population when leaving home. However, there is no use of a mask if your nose is not covered or if you have hanging your mask on your ears.
- Surgical Masks: Such masks are used by the people suspected with symptoms of COVID-19. It is recommended for people to use this mask if a person in the family is suspected with Coronavirus and is in home isolation.
- PFF2 or N95 Mask: Such masks have greater protection power. Used by health-care professionals who are treating patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
People feel protected using the masks and carry out other unethical actions that effectively contribute to becoming infected. A good example is handling the masks with unhygienic hands, touching your nose and mouth!
Masks are getting harder and harder to find. If available in stock, their prices are way too much that a person hesitates to buy some for his poor family. However, there are still some mask vendors that you can find on the internet.
What are the alternatives?
Although particle filtering masks are the ones that offer the most security against the coronavirus, it should be noted that those that incorporate an exhalation valve do not offer protection to other users since the valve facilitates the expulsion of particles to the outside without any type of filter. Therefore, its use is not recommended by any competent international figure.
It is so important to wear masks these to avoid infecting others. It is now known that between 70% to 90% of people infected with coronavirus do not have any symptoms but are contagious.
Masks VS Respirators – Are they the same?
The surgical masks are usually made of simpler fabric, something like tissues or notex. On the other hand, respirators are made of thicker material. Surgical masks have loose fitting and cover the nose and mouth. However, respirators are tight-fitting masks. Surgical masks protect from one direction. Research shows that surgical masks protect a person from contagion up to 50%. However, respirators completely block all kinds of germs and viruses.
Who should use a Surgical mask?
The surgical masks should be used by all people who are going to go out on the streets. They are not recommended for people with risk factors, such as people over 60 years of age, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, obesity, etc. Therefore, it is worth considering buying masks for legit mask vendors that should be used by the general public, from a 6 years old kid to a 40 years old person.
Who Should Wear a Respirator?
Respirators must be used by health personnel, because they are exposed to contagion all the time. They are found within inches of patients and for quite a long time. Their risk of contagion is very high and justifies that they have maximum protection.
Likewise, people with risk factors, such as those over 60 years of age, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiectasis, COPD, cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart surgery, etc. are recommended to use it. Remember that respirators are expensive and rare. The respirator should be used only by health personnel and people with risk factors for having coronavirus.
What about KN95 respirators?
The N95 respirator is similar to the Chinese KN95 respirator. It is reasonable to consider mask vendors to get KN95 mask respirators. But, nothing currently guarantees us that the proper standards are met and that it is really useful and reliable.
Do respirators work against the Coronavirus?
The coronavirus measures 0.1 microns. Whereas, respirators filter some 0.1 micron particles. It is not known at the moment how much they can filter. It is unknown exactly how much protection respirators will provide against coronavirus when in use.
What other precaution should we take besides wearing a mask?
Distance always decreases the chance of getting Coronavirus from someone while he will be coughing or sneezing us. There are 4 factors that protect us from contagion
- a mask against coronavirus
- distance of at least 2 meters from each other
- Ventilation of the place where we are
- Time – the longer the exposure time, the greater the danger.
Remember: Surgical masks are not reusable. They are for single use only. Once they get wet or dirty they should be changed.