In an effort to slow down the spread of the virus many countries have devised strategies to implement social distancing and plans to keep the general public safe. Coronavirus has become not only a threat to the public health but also a threat to the economic situation worldwide.
The initial meta regarding the use of Facemasks has brewed some conflicting opinions. The fact that WHO initially stated that use of facemasks may not be that effective in stopping the spread has born fruit to this confusion. However, face masks have become mandatory in increasingly more countries as time ways on. That is because of health experts finding data on the virus that suggests the higher percentage of the spread has been due to Asymptomatic people i.e., people that don’t show any symptoms but are carriers for the disease to spread.
As of end of August, over 50 countries have made the use of facemasks mandatory in public. And there are a number of other countries as well where parts of the countries, such as states, provinces, regions or counties have also made the use of facemasks mandatory depending on how severe the spread of the disease has been in these regions.
UK also joined the fray in making facemasks mandatory to be worn in retail shops and other public gatherings by the end of July. It was already mandatory to wear facemasks in public transports since mid-June.
Dawn of N95 Masks
With countries making facemasks mandatory, this industry has seen a huge rise in demand. And with demand comes variety. Now people don’t just have access to the same old disposable masks like they were used to. They now also have access to home made masks and masks made by fashion companies to not only protect you but also give you a unique sense of style.
However, in the era of mandatory facemasks, N95 masks reign supreme when it comes to its recommendations from the health experts and its use by people who are more concerned about the safety of their immediate surrounding than to just fulfil the task of wearing a mask just because it is necessary.
The reason for that is twofold.
Debra Galatioto of the Hudson Headwater Health Network says, "They call it a particulate respirator which just means it's a really thick mask,"
KN95, a version of N95 masks, are designed in a way that they leave very fine carefully woven openings to let the air pass through for optimal breathability but also making sure that particles that are smaller than a certain size do not pass through. Coronavirus infection is in fact very small in size and while it is true that regular face coverings can do a respectable job, there is a possibility for the infection to pass through those covering provided the angle and location of where the virus is hitting the mask.
Another reason why N95 is a highly recommended mask by the health experts and why it is worn in healthcare facilities as well is because it allows for a greater fit across the face.
"Kind of make sure that if it's fitted correctly that you are breathing through the mask and not around the mask. If you are breathing around the mask, you could pull in germs," is what Debra says.
Do you ever notice that when you are wearing a regular face covering and you wear glasses, your glasses get foggy? That is because your face covering is not doing a great job of filtering out or in all the air that your are breathing as a lot of it is being exhaled and inhaled from around the mask instead of through it. And that could pose a problem when a you are trying to curb a virus as easily spread as COVID-19.
So as important as it is that you wear facemask, even if regular, whether they are mandatory or not. You can opt to go for greater safety and precaution by choosing to go for N95 Masks.