How useful are facemasks during this Pandemic called COVID-19, caused by corona virus. In this crisis experts really agree that we should wear masks to protect ourselves.
In many Asian countries face masks are regarded as one of the main weapons in the fight against the corona virus in the worst situation.
Many of us believe that masks should be reserved for healthcare workers only who depend on protection. But that view seems to have changed recently now due to the new pandemic.
More and more local authorities do recommend wearing masks in public. So let’s discuss face masks and what they can do for us during a pandemic.
Wearing a face mask useful during the coronavirus crisis or not:
Opinions are divided but there seems to be a growing consensus that we can’t stay in permanent crisis mode. But the question is how do we enter in the lockdown without risk.
Face mask policies could be the answer for the rise in new cases and consequently a higher death rate in a moment.
According to a report all respirator masks are created not equal. We can generally distinguish in three main types –
Filtering facepiece or FFP masks – It fits snugly around the nose, mouth, and chin and filters out the tiniest airborne particles. It is the most effective type in that no viruses in or out and an exhalation valve makes breathing easier but increases the risk of viruses escaping. An unveiled FFP mask protects both the mask wearer and the next person.
FFP masks are generally short in supply, so they should be mainly reserved for medical personnel.
Masks that’s often seen with the simple protective face piece for the mouth and nose known as a surgical mask. It consists of a thin wire with several layers of paper or nonwoven fabric to make it fit over the nose.
When the mask wearer coughs or sneezes the surgical mask helps to block the large droplets but on inhalation air also flows in over the sides. It means that mainly they protect others from infection rather than the wearer.
Once the mask is wet from breathing after seven to eight hours wearing time, at the most it has to be discarded.
In the COVID – 19 crisis professionally manufactured masks are short in supply that’s led to a flourishing cottage industry.
All around the world most of people are using handkerchiefs, t-shirts, or vacuum cleaner bags for masks.
Many people are revving up their sewing machines for making masks. A textile mask functions rather like a protective mask made of paper or cloth but generally has a poor seal and blocks.
According to a study however a surgical mask does, that cloth mask can be washed and reused. The most important thing is which mask you wear, it doesn’t matter. It can be effective only if used with hygiene measures like thorough hand washing and maintaining a safe distance from others.
There is not enough evidence that wearing masks could actually stop or at least reduce the spread of the virus.
A question is how much virus comes out of the mouths of people with influenza or common cold infections including common core and virus.
Studies found a lot of viruses in the exhaled breath not only in the large droplets but also in the small particle aerosols.
How well facemask blocked the virus from getting into the environment we captured.
All of the exhaled breath that these patients were breathing, there are substantial reductions in the virus that was able to get into the environment.
But when those patients wore surgical facemasks including influenza and human coronavirus that we should wear face masks and perhaps it should even be mandatory.
We need to be careful not to think of that mask of a magic weapon against COVID-19. We know the best thing that we can do in the community is stay at home and stay away from other people because that’s what will definitely stop transmission.
If we need to go out it might be better if people are wearing a mask whether or not but we should wear face masks because it’s all linked to fears.
As we know face masks can block large droplets from coming out of the infected person. For the other person who’s wearing a mask, the air comes from the sides. In both cases, the air will come in the sides and leak but these masks can still protect against droplets.
Actually surgical masks block many of the aerosol particles. So even if a surgical mask could still provide some benefits, obviously not as much as it would against the large respiratory droplets but it could still provide some benefit.
For the general public any mask is better than no mask but we know that materials that are a bit thicker probably have better filtration performance. So a cotton cloth mask is probably better than a scarf.
There haven’t been that many studies on the different choices that are now one of the priorities that a mask can’t replace measures like social distancing or washing hands.
Masks are not going to be a magic weapon for saving life but the situation becomes normal if people were just wearing masks, washing their hands, and maintaining distance.
Probably it’s not enough to allow life to return to normal. We need a lot of social distancing and other measures. If we use a mask every little bit in our daily life that will definitely help us.
Is there a downside of wearing a mask:
Any mask is better than none, so is there a downside to wearing a face mask or not. Actually, it’s better to stay at home but if you do really need to go out it should be better to wear a mask than not wear a mask.
Experts are saying there could be some consequences to behavior so that people are wearing masks. They think it makes them protected from the virus and actually, it’s more like a small benefit. If everybody wears a mask properly then we get a small benefit for the community.
Always be sure to wear the mask properly. For wearing a mask some important rules are recommended to follow.
First masks are only effective and they are used in combination with a good hand hygiene either use soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
So before touching the mask and putting it on first, clean your hands, check the mask for tears and folds and make sure to check which side is the top.
Usually masks have two sides, an inside and an outside. The inside is usually the lighter colored and the outer colored darker.
To put the mask on your face pinches the metal strip so it molds to the shape of your nose then covers your nose, mouth and chin. Always make sure there is no gap between your face and the mask when you’re wearing a mask.
Don’t touch the mask and don’t pull it up and down while wearing it. If you touch it accidentally always wash your hands properly.
The same goes for taking off the mask, pulling the elastic strips from behind your ears and don’t touch the front side of the mask and keep it away from your face. After using the mask discard it immediately in a closed bin and again wash your hands
If you use self-made textile masks then it needs to be washed at least sixty degrees after every use.
Face masks, lock down and of course the constant fear of catching the virus many of us look for a way out of this nightmare.
By following conspiracy theories that explain what really happens or by discovering old health myths that promise to keep us safe beware the bearers of false gifts.
Now the question is that the virus is killed by cold weather and snow or by warm weather. We don’t forget to the best of our knowledge this virus appeared from Wuhan in China last winter in the year 2019 when temperature in the country was just a few degrees above freezing.
Much of the current pandemic has occurred in the northern hemisphere in winter so there is no reason to believe that cold weather kills SARS Kove – like influenza and other corona viruses.
It seems to transmit quite well when temperatures are low possibly because that’s when people are spending lots of time together inside the house.
It is not possible for anyone to kill the virus by spraying alcohol or chlorine on our body. The only place on our body where we should use alcohol-based sanitizers is on our hands. Sanitizer or chemical on our body or face possibly do a lot of harm.
In our daily life everyone has to wear masks to reduce the spread of COVID – 19. This gives two levels of protection.
First it blocks droplets that could carry germs from leaving the mask when someone breathes out and second if any droplets do leave the person’s mask. By using the masks the viruses are blocked from entering the nose or mouth of other people.
How to make sure our mask is tight against our cheeks just tucked under the bottom of the chin and pinch tightly where it meets your nose.
The goal is to make sure there is full contact between the top bottom and sides of the mask with our face.
No gaps can allow droplets that carry germs to leave and enter our nose and mouth. It may feel hot and stuffy but that means it right.
If you see a gap in someone else’s mask, alert them also. The mask must remain in place of the face. This includes not moving the mask to talk, eat or itch your face or nose. We shouldn’t remove our masks because germs can come inside in a few seconds.