The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed our lives to a great extent. Many people are staying at home, avoiding close proximity on the streets, and changing their daily habits in several ways that we’ve never imagined. Based on authorities urges to be cautious about infectious hazards, you need to adopt a new way of living which involves wearing a face mask whenever out in public settings to reduce cross-contamination risks.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States recommends that people should wear a mask in public places and when around people, especially who don’t live in your household and when social distancing measure is hard to follow. Wearing a face mask on a daily basis might be a new habit for you but it is absolutely necessary to flatten the curve of the virus.
Why Wearing a Mask is Extremely Important?
You might feel skeptical about face coverings, the most common is “If I am not at high risk for COVID-19, why should I wear a mask?” The reason for this is that the virus can be transmitted through three routes i.e. coughing, sneezing, or talking. The infected person may release hazardous particles into the air which can lead to health hazards.
Moreover, we have a tendency to touch our eyes, nose, mouth, or face, this is why you should use equate hand sanitizer alongside a face mask to kill germs from your hands and keep yourself fully protected. The COVID-19 carrier has the lowest transmission probability when a healthy person is wearing a mask. If you wear a mask and practice social distancing when out in public, you will feel good about knowing that you are contributing to the community’s effort of creating a safer environment and slowing down the spread of infection.
How Much Protection do Face Masks Offer Against Hazardous Exposures?
When combined with preventive measures like social distancing and frequent hand washing, face masks can help protect you and people around you more effectively. There are different types of face masks available, each has its own set of functions, specifications, and level of protection.
Below we have outlined common types of face masks and its filtration efficiency to help you make the right selection:
N95 and KN95 face masks are designed to block up to 95% of airborne particles (both large and small substances) to minimize the spread of bacterial and viral contaminants. Both of these respirators are designed with the same structure and ideal for 95% of filtration efficiency, intended to prevent bio-aerosols (virus), PM2.5 particulates, and other harmful agents.
You can easily buy KN95 and N95 face masks for sale to attain a high level of protection against respiratory droplets, pollution, fumes, and more. Keep in mind, not to hoard more respirators than you need as we need to protect these gear for professionals who work in risky environments on a consistent basis.
3-Ply Face Masks
As the name describes, it comes with 3-layer protective design that can help prevent exposure to air pollutants, viral, and bacterial particles. Individuals working in different settings like oil plants, construction sites, industrial applications laboratories, and other risky areas can wear this mask to minimize the contagion risk.
Cloth masks are typically designed to trap droplets that are released in the air when the wearer talks, sneezes, or coughs. While respirators may be in short supply and should be reserved for professionals, cloth face coverings are easy to find or even make at home with any clothing item like a scarf, t-shirt, etc. If you feel vulnerable when stepping outside your home for food supplies or other essentials, you can wear cloth masks to prevent getting infected.
Important Things You Should Know About Face Masks
Masks can prevent the wearer from transmitting the virus to others
Face masks not only provides protection to the wearer but also halt the risk of transmission of infectious particles in the entire community. This reflects a positive contribution towards reducing contagion risk and creating a safer place to live for everyone throughout the nation.
Many people are not familiar with they are carrying the virus
The 40% of people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic but potentially able to transmit the infection to others, says CDC. Since there is no precise way to identify many people who are silently spreading the virus in the community, it is vital to wear a face mask.
A universal mask should be accompanied by other safety measures
Masks are not alone an effective barrier to transmission. It can make a difference when combined with measures like physical distancing, regular hand washing, restrictions on large gatherings, and more. All these can prove to be very effective in slowing the spread of contagion.
What Things You Should Keep in Mind When Wearing a Face Mask?
One of the drastic lifestyle changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic is the use of face masks whenever out in public such as grocery stores, pharmacies, eateries, and other places.
There is no doubt that wearing a mask, especially when you are in close proximity to others is imperative to curb the spread of the virus. However, you should avoid common mistakes while wearing and removing the mask to capture its effectiveness properly.
Here are some don’ts you should remember to avoid transmission risk:
- Do not touch the front surface of your mask while wearing and removing it.
- Do not wear the mask under your chin or mouth exposed.
- Do not leave your mouth and nose uncovered, especially when out in public.
- Do not skip to wash your hands before and after using a mask.
- Do not share your mask with family members, friends, and other individuals.
- Do not use an infected or damaged mask.
Masks have become an inevitable part of this pandemic, particularly for those who live in crowded areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain and for those who work in contamination-prone environments where there is a high risk of exposure to the virus.
By now, we all know that it is best to follow stay-at-home orders and avoid crowded places to prevent the virus from spreading in the community. Since COVID-19 spreads mainly by close contact, using a mask with other equipment like nitrile gloves case, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, etc. can mitigate the chances of getting infected.
By simply wearing a face mask and following preventive measures, you can help minimize the risk of viruses and protect both yourself and the larger community.
Maintain Social Distancing, wear a Face Mask, and Stay Safe!