Within weeks face masks went from being considered, possibly harmful, and unnecessary to mandatory in most places in the world. The scientific consensus currently is that it is effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, and health organizations recommend wearing them. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about masks.
Must I Wear a Mask?
Unless you have a specific medical condition making it hard for you to use a mask or you are less than two years of age, you need to wear a mask anytime you leave your house. This is according to the recommendations of public health experts.
What Exactly Do Masks Do?
Covid 19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets, which are tiny bits of spit expelled from the nose and mouth whenever one coughs, breathes, talks or sneezes. If you have the virus, it can ride on the droplets and spread to other people or surfaces. Masks help to block the droplets from moving further than the face physically. They do a better job at preventing infectious people from spreading the disease than healthy people.
Are Disposable Masks Better Than Reusable?
Disposable masks perform well as far as breathability, and locking the respiratory droplets is concerned. This is according to lab tests. Depending on the material, both reusable and disposable masks can be equally safe and effective. However, disposable masks are designed to be worn once, which is not good if you look at it from an environmental perspective. Reusable masks are a better long-term solution than their disposable counterparts.
How Many Layers Should I Go For?
Masks with two layers do a good job according to research, but those with three layers are the best when it comes to protecting yourself from the coronavirus. This is because it blocks more of the droplets as compared to their two layers and one-layer counterparts.
Which is the Best Style?
Masks that cover both the mouth and the nose and form a snug seal at the edges are the best when it comes to coronavirus prevention. Unless you have a professional mask such as the N95 respirator, you cannot get an airtight seal. For daily use, go for a comfortable but snug mask as we are aiming for something good enough and not perfect.
Are Homemade Masks Better than Mass Produced?
The efficiency of a mask is more about the material than whether it was homemade or made in the factory. Lab tests have shown that even the homemade, no-sew T-shirt do a good job, especially when made with multiple layers. Look for a material with which you are most comfortable and are likely to wear.