Wearing a mask is the new normal, because of COVID-19. The virus has completely changed the way people function on a daily basis. Not only are the people confined to their houses, but stepping out of the house has become a challenge as well. Everyone has to be extra vigilant and cautious of their surroundings all the time, especially when they are out. As COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people via respiratory droplets and contact routes. But then, how does one protect themselves from contracting the virus? The answer to this is, essentially by wearing a mask whenever stepping out. This is exceptionally important not just for yourself, but for the safety of others as well. If you are wondering how is a mask going to prevent the spread of the virus, continue reading to understand the effectiveness of wearing a mask.
To understand how effective masks are at stopping the spread of the virus, first, let’s understand how this virus is transmitted among people. As mentioned before, the virus is primarily transmitted between people via respiratory droplets. So, when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, droplets are produced. Some of these droplets fall on the surrounding surfaces, while others stay in the air for hours. When another person comes in contact with these surfaces and then touch their face or if they breathe the same infected air they could contract the virus. However, the chances of contracting COVID in an enclosed area is even higher. Furthermore, the symptoms take up to 14 days to surface, in the meantime the person would have interacted with other people. Thus, leads to an increased number of cases.
This is why the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention encourages everyone to use a mask whenever stepping out. A few studies have shown that the use of masks has relatively helped in reducing the spread of COVID-19. As they serve as a barrier when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Furthermore, it is necessary that the mask used covers your nose and mouth properly to prevent the droplets from escaping through any gap. It is very essential to ensure the mask used isn’t lose and fits well. Nonetheless, along with wearing masks, following social distancing and regularly hand washing/sanitizing is a must to keep the virus at bay.
Now that you understand the effectiveness of wearing a mask, it is important to know which mask is best suited in preventing the virus, as they are a few options available in the market and can get a bit confusing.
1. Surgical Mask
The surgical mask also known as the Medical Mask is a loosely fitted mask that covers the nose and mouth. It is a disposable mask and is not meant to be worn more than once. It successfully prevents a person from droplets, splashes and sprays.
2. N95 or Respiratory Mask
This mask is a more tightly fitted mask and offers more protection than a surgical mask. It can filter out 95% of droplets, splashes and sprays. Including any kind of virus and infectious agents.
3. Cloth Mask
Cloth Mask is widely used today because the health workers and caregivers are falling short of Surgical and Respiratory Masks. As these masks give maximum protection it is necessary for the health workers and caregivers to use them by all means. On the other hand, since cloth mask can easily be found in the market, made at home and washed regularly it is a highly recommended option to the public. Also, it prevents one from the virus or any infection as much as the other masks. It absolutely acts as a barrier when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Therefore, stopping the spread of the virus.
Now that you know the effectiveness of wearing a mask and the types of mask you can opt for, neither you nor your loved ones should step out without wearing a mask. Let’s stop the spread of COVID-19 together.