By: Zoya Maryam
Who would have thought that face masks are going to be one of the most sought after items for the year 2020? The COVID 19 pandemic that originated from China in late 2019 has already spread worldwide.
COVID 19 is a strain of the novel coronavirus that causes mild to severe respiratory conditions to people who get infected. Young children, senior citizens, and individuals with underlying medical conditions are the most susceptible hosts to the COVID 19 threat. Infected individuals may show symptoms such as sore throat, coughs, fever, and breathing difficulties. However, COVID 19 may also infect individuals who may not display any signs. These asymptomatic individuals are serious potential dangers of spreading the virus since they are not aware that they have become COVID 19 carriers.
The possibility of having asymptomatic carriers within our environment has prompted different governments to adopt community quarantine policies such as social distancing, proper hygiene, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). One of the systems being implemented by governments to break the chain of COVID 19 infection is to wear face masks as often as possible, especially when going outside. However, considerations should be made to what types of face masks to use and when to use them.
There are three types of masks that you may use to protect yourself from COVID 19 infection:
N95 Respirator. The top tier in terms of protective face masks against infectious agents is the N95 Respirator. N95 respirators can protect the wearer against 95 percent of particles that are up to 0.3 microns in size. These face masks are capable of filtering all types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. N95 masks are designed to tightly fit your face to seal it completely against any bacteria that may enter through your mouth or nostrils.
Although any individual can purchase an N95 respirator, it is best if the use of N95 respirators should be limited to medical personnel and front-liners only. When there is an ongoing pandemic, the demand for N95 respirators will increase significantly. When this happens, the supply of N95 masks may not be enough for all the medical personnel who need them to treat COVID 19 infected individuals.
Surgical Mask. Surgical face masks are disposable face masks that offer three layers of protection against splashes, sprays, and large-particle droplets. Since the primary mode of transmission of COVID 19 is through the dispersion of droplets from coughing and sneezing, surgical face masks are already enough to protect you from getting infected. Individuals who are affected with or are suspected of having COVID 19 infections must wear surgical masks as often as possible to prevent the spread.
Since surgical masks are specially designed and made with medicated layers of protection, this type of cover should only be limited to people who are infected with the virus and to people who are taking care of infected individuals at home.
Cloth Mask. Cloth masks are adequate protection for the general public to be used in addition to following the 6-foot social distancing protocol. Since cloth masks are washable, it is advisable to wash them after every use.
Because of the threat of COVID 19, people are now cautious whenever they go outside. Wearing face masks is now becoming part of the new normal lifestyle. However, when purchasing face masks, it is best not to overcompensate your protection level so that the critical supplies such as N95 respirators and surgical masks may be reserved for medical personnel only.
Author bio: Zoya Maryam is a freelance writer and extremely fond of anything related to Digital Marketing and Business. She is writing Technologies as well as fiction, like good music, loves her cat and eats too much. More than anything, She loves to share the knowledge of Technology.