Since December 2019, the entire world has been petrified of the COVID-19 outbreak. Within a few months, the world population has been affected by this virus a lot. Millions of people were infected and still counting. There are still increasing numbers of new cases every day. The world has faced death tolls. Many people have lost their close ones, and many have gone to isolation with an uncertainty of survival.
Researchers said that until the vaccine is invented and ready to hit the market, the only way of keeping this virus aside is to take precautions. On the initial days, the number of infected people increased massively because people were unaware of the protection, the type of virus, the possible symptoms, and, most importantly, the fatality. For this, many countries in Europe, the United States, and Asia have suffered. However, now, people are aware of the virus and the consequence of getting infected with it. Therefore, they are asked to follow the healthcare organizations’ protocol and circulated by the Governments. Let’s revise them again: You have to wash your hands frequently and use sanitizer when washing is impossible, wear a mask whenever in public, stay away from touching your face, nose, and mouth repeatedly, keep yourself hydrated and boost your immunity with a healthy diet.
COVID-19 doesn’t have deadly symptoms; it is mostly similar to the flu, but it accentuates and deteriorates your health’s existing conditions. It can heart disease, asthma, low blood pressure, anything. And it makes the condition so worse that it can kill people. Therefore, boosting your immunity is very important, along with the other safety measures.
About the Masks
Masks are one of the most important protection against COVID-19. Mostly, the airborne viruses enter our body through our nose and mouth because we can’t keep these organs closed. Masks are used to cover the nose and mouth so that the particles can be obstructed from entering your body.
Initially, people were using any mask or any cotton clothes to cover their nose and mouth. Gradually, many masks came to the market claiming to be effective for blocking this virus.
N95 masks are one of them. Apart from N95 masks, there are disposable masks, surgical masks, reusable masks, and many more, which are approved to be used. People can even make their mask by at home following some instructions, and there are ways to sanitize them at home.
N95 Masks and Respirators
N95 masks are not a new safety kit used in this pandemic. It was there in the market, though the purposes were different. N95 masks were mainly used for industrial purposes and medical purposes, where exposure to dense dust, metallic atoms, pollution, and body fluids are high. However, more than the N95 masks, medical professionals used to wear surgical masks. This pandemic proved that the medical professionals could have maximum safety with this mask accompanied by face shields and other PPE kits.
The Scenario of the Shortage
3M was the lead manufacturer of N95 masks who started making more N95 masks to help people with this essential product. These masks were specially designed for frontline workers who can’t stay at home and avoid infected people. However, a problem took place when the virus outbreak was massive and upgraded itself to the level of community spread.
As it is the most effective mask, people started getting this in bulk. The sellers also started buying this mask in a huge number for future use. For this massive demand, 3M and other popular manufacturers fall short to produce enough masks. As a result, medical professionals were not getting adequate masks for their purposes.
In the meantime, popular retailers showed up and started controlling the distribution of N95 masks. They totally stopped selling N95 masks to the public. The produced masks were directly sold to the medical institutes and other frontline workers organizations. Along with this step, they stopped selling other products than the essential household items to engage more inventory managers and delivery executives to deliver the PPE kits and essential products on time.
Rise of Fake N95 Masks
The shortage was a benefit for many fake product sellers. There was very little information for common people about effective masks, and that is where they made mistakes of investing in unworthy products. Many sellers started selling N95 masks. Of course, these were the unauthentic masks, unapproved by the CDC or NIOSH in the United States and other healthcare management organizations. Slowly when the turmoil related to the shortage was managed, the organizations started making steps. They made people aware of the fake masks and conducted intensive research on various types of N95 masks. After thorough research, they prohibited N95 masks for kids and banned the type designed with an exhalation valve. This was inappropriate to control the virus outbreak as it increased the chance of community spreading more rigorously.
Now, 3M, along with many other reputed manufacturers, have increased their production to meet the demand. They have hired more people to avoid any such situation where the shortage can cause fraudulent businesses to rise. It is a question of safety for millions of people. The even distribution is also taken care of.
Now the wait is for the vaccine to demolish this virus and get back to our everyday life again. Till then, keep yourself and your family safe and alert.