Face masks that you should wear as protection against Corona Virus
The government recommends everyone- healthy or sick- to wear face masks as protection against Coronavirus. Specially in places where it is difficult to stay 6 feet away from other people, like a public place or grocery store. Several studies prove that people who don’t have any symptoms (called asymptomatic) or before they show any symptoms (called presymptomatic) can also spread the disease to others. So, face masks are essential as they block the release of virus-filled droplets in the air when someone coughs, sneezes, speaks or sings. This help to impede the transmission of COVID-19
There are different types of face masks available in the market and each type offers a certain level of protection. Before you purchase a face covering, you should know which kind of mask is best and how to wear it:
For People Working in Healthcare
N95 Respirators: Surgical grade N95 respirators offer the highest level of protection against coronavirus as they can fit tightly around the face and have the capability of filtering out 95 per cent or more of the minutest particles in the air. However, it is better for doctors, nurses, and other medical staff or for those who are at high risk of getting an infection because there is a limited supply of these masks.
Surgical Masks: Followed by N95 respirators, surgical-grade masks are also effective in shielding against the virus-filled large droplets that come from an infected person’s sneeze or cough. These masks are mainly blue with white borders and mostly used by the health workers. However, these masks hang loosely across the nose and mouth and are not able to block the smallest particles that may carry COVID-19.
Masks For People Who Don’t Work in Health Care
Fabric Masks: These masks are best for non-health workers and can be made at home by sewing or without sewing a cloth. However, the material of the cloth matters a lot to stop the spread of the disease. If the cloth is hard to breathe, it can be hazardous for people who have breathing problems. You can use a simple cotton t-shirt, cotton mix fabric, standard pillowcase, tea towel, linen or a bandana to make a fabric mask. Nevertheless, keep in mind a few things while making your own homemade mask:
1. Use at least two layers of cotton cloth so that the mask effectively blocks the infection-causing germs.
2. Add wire or a copper ribbon on the nose so that it fits perfectly.
Giving two layers to the mask allow you to sandwich a filter material between them. You can also make a pocket type layers where you can insert a filter. This will help you to take it out before washing. Several household items like paper towels, coffee filter or a toilet paper serve as a filter layer. Apart from these paper filters. Some use polypropylene shopping bag as a filter. And the best thing is it is washable. However, the advice is to air-dry it for longevity.
Neoprene Masks: These masks are also useful to stop the droplets carrying the virus.
Dust Masks: You can get these masks at any hardware store. Although dust masks look like N95 surgical grade respirators, yet they don’t filter out the tiniest particles.
A Neck Gaiter- Also known as buff, a neck gaiter is a piece of material that slips over the head and tied in a loop. You need a stretchy synthetic fabric for it. You can take a piece of a t-shirt to make it as well. If you find that the material is thin you can fold it into several layers.
Whatever masks you buy or make, ensure that it covers your nose and mouth perfectly. It is up to you whether you go for an ear loop mask or one that can be tied behind your head. It depends on your comfort level. Some people find ties better as they perfectly cover the face, while others prefer ear loops as they feel the ties tangles up in the wash.