People like you and me and whosoever have witnessed the year 2020. They are very conscious about their surroundings very well know that what has taken over the world, i.e., a pandemic, is caused by a disease named Covid-19, and this is a widespread disease caused by a virus name novel coronavirus. It has been spreading with the speed of light and has managed to earn itself the title of the third disease that has contributed to causing a pandemic worldwide.
The fight against corona is still on, with most of the Nations trying their best to fight the deadly disease Covid-19.
The outbreak has been so loud that it has organized as to the point of turning to different equipment types for our safety, and one of such tools that can help us with this outbreak of covid-19 is masks. In the corona times, masks are just like that twig for an ant in the vast ocean, a medium for people to Shield themselves from getting contaminated with the virus or novel coronavirus.
What are the masks?
Masks can prevent transmission and infection through coronavirus by preventing their mouth and nose from being exposed to the outside environment that might be contaminated. When one comes across the term masks for protection against novel coronavirus, we can classify them into the following categories:
- Homemade cloth face mask
- Surgical mask
- N95 respirators
With everyone trying to protect themselves and shield themselves and their families from the deadly virus, they have been making sure to have themselves equipped with necessary personal protective equipment that as a mask. It has caused a significant and critical condition where the masks, especially the N95 respirators, are not available for even the healthcare professionals and others in the frontline to perform their duties well.
What are N95 Respirators?
Being in the era where the masks and respirators are no less than some mystical life-saving pills, we are obliged, and it's more like we must know and beware about what we are trusting with our safety.
Following are the points that'll define N95, and it's the importance and also the shortcomings that make N95 Respirators so important as to being approved by NIOSH :
○ The feature of "being not resistant to any oil-based aerosols such as lubricants and such fluids is represented by the "N" in N95 Respirators while the Respirator's "effectiveness of being able to filter particles of about 0.3 micrometers which are considered as the most penetrating particle size range for all of the filters" is represented by "95" in N95 respirators.
○ They are considered very effective in shielding you against being contaminated by the coronavirus until you are not in a setting where oil days aerosols are dealt with.
○ The N95 Respirator is termed as a respirator. According to NIOSH, it is not at all like a surgical mask, which is a short form for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in the United States. Points to be noted here are that every mask with a NIOSH certification is a respirator and not a surgical mask.
- How does an N95 Respirator function?
○ N95 respirators are responsible for filtering smaller particles that are even smaller than the gap between the mask's fibers.
○ N95 masks are quite useful in filtering not only the largest but also the smallest particles. The challenge that it faces is the middle-sized particles.
○ The ultimate goal of the N95 mask is to get the airborne particles to stick to the fiber so that they don't become airborne again.
○ They can be compared with a web created by a spider where everything gets stuck; similarly, the airborne particles get stuck on the fibers of the N95 masks, thus preventing them from contaminating things further.
○ N95 masks or respirators intentionally use different phenomenons and levels of physics that can be seen in public life.
○ N95 respirators tend to attract particles of every size towards them by creating an electric field. The N95 masks filter particles of different sizes to different extents.
How is the scarcity of the N95 Masks affecting the nursing homes?
- With the scarcity of N95 masks and their stockpiling, many nursing homes are left behind in the run for N95 covers and other protective gear. This has resulted in affecting or putting in exposure, and the high risk of contamination, the most vulnerable section of our society.
- According to medical experts, the services that have been conducted due to the shortage of N95 masks and other personal protective equipment, there has been an outbreak in the residents' deaths in the nursing homes.
- In the past seven months of fighting corona, there have din recurrences of the shortage of N95 masks. While the government is making policies for improving scarcity, there is still this weaker section, or the vulnerable section of the human population left alone and appears to die by the lack of protective equipment like N95 masks for them.
- The people living in nursing homes are mostly old age people who are already fighting many diseases. When exposed to the novel coronavirus, they do not have the luxury of owning the N95 mask for protection and thus get exposed to the deadly virus resulting in this shameful outbreak.