The spread of Covid-19 jolted the world. Soon after its emergence, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 as a pandemic. Most of the governments enforced lockdowns and curfews. Businesses and educational institutions were closed. However, hospitals, grocery stores, and other places for the supply of commodities and services needed to run their routine business.
For this, health officials and other medical agencies set some Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the safety of staff and managers. These Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) include the uses of Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) and sanitizers. Moreover, practicing social distancing is mandatory to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Major PPEs and N95:
Personal Protection Equipment includes gowns, gloves, masks, and goggles. The demand for masks and PPEs recorded a surge. Different types of masks are available in markets. Different types of masks have different uses. Surgical masks, medical masks, N95 masks and respirators, face shields, and simple face masks made of cloth. During the pandemic Covid-19, the use of the N95 mask saw a record surge in its demand.
N95 mask was initially used by medical staff and healthcare officials. However, its popularity took it to the general public. Due to its high filtering capability, N95 masks and respirators proved helpful to stop the spread of Covid-19. N95 masks filter up to 95% of dust and airborne particles.
How N95 masks helped the spread of Covid-19:
Covid-19 patients feel respiratory and breathing issues. This makes it more harmful as breathing makes everyone vulnerable to contract this virus. Respiratory issues can cause coughing and this can give rise to the spread of viral diseases. Water droplets come out of the mouth of patients of Covid-19 during the sneeze and coughing of the
So, the use of masks and respirators becomes necessary to control the spread of Covid-19. N95 masks fit tightly around the face, nose, and mouth. The filtering capability of N95 masks makes it unique among all other masks and respirators. Moreover, N95 masks and respirators have a breathing valve which makes the N95 mask more comfortable than any other mask available in the market.
The demand for N95 masks in the United States:
N95 became popular all around the world. However, their demand and popularity saw its peak in the United States. World Health Organization recommended the use of N95 masks and respirators to all healthcare staff and medical officials. Healthcare staff, medical officials, and sanitary workers who were working with Covid-19 patients were six to ten times more vulnerable than common people.
So the governments made immediate arrangements to supply N95 masks and respirators to these workers and staff. N95 masks proved helpful in the cause to control Covid-19.
The popularity of N95 masks in Florida State:
In the United States, the use of N95 masks became a common practice during the initial days of the outbreak of Covid-19. Especially in Florida State, everyone was in search of N95 masks and respirators. The popularity of N95 masks in Florida: Demand of N95 masks created its shortage. The prices of N95 masks and respirators were increased manifold.
N95 Masks and respirators which were normally available from 58 cents to $ 1.25 per piece before the outbreak of pandemic were not accessible at any cost. So the State Division of Emergency Management signed a deal for the purchase of 30 million masks at much higher prices than usual; $7.50 for a piece.
The response of State Government:
Every state government was drained to maintain the supply of masks. So, the State Division of Emergency Management signed a multimillion-dollar deal for the purchase of masks to fulfill the demand for masks and respirators. The State Division of Emergency Management signed a deal for the purchase of 30 million masks for $ 225 million which makes it $7.50 for one piece.
According to FACTS.flds.com, the state public purchased more than 90 million masks and respirators in the initial two months of the pandemic. Moreover, the federal government inked a deal of worth $380 million for the purchase of masks with Honeywell and 3M. Honeywell and 3M are the biggest manufactures of N95 masks and respirators. The State Government tried to acquire masks from the Federal Government.
But, the State Government was drained for the acquisition of N95 masks from the Federal Government. The longer the state government waited, the more it had to pay for the purchase of one piece of a mask. Initially, at the start of April, the state government had an opportunity to purchase N95 at a low price of $ 2.60 for a piece of masks. After a long wait, the Florida Government had to pay $6 for a piece.
Characteristics of N95 masks and respirators:
N95 masks are quite different from other available masks in the market. N95 masks have great filtering capabilities, fitting, holding strap, and breathing valve. These qualities differentiate N95 masks from other available masks.
N95 masks filter more than 95% airborne and dust particles. N95 masks block virus particles as they filter up to 0.3 microns while the size of the Covid-19 virus is 0.125 microns.
The shape of N95 masks
The shape of N95 masks makes them more resistant to the virus. The edges of N95 are designed so that they make a seal around the face and mouth. This hinders the droplets which can be helpful for the viruses to spread around. So they make N95 unique and safer for the wearers and others around them.
Valve for air-breathing
N95 masks have a special valve for air-breathing. This gives comfort to its wearer and helps him while breathing.
Unique qualities make N95 masks popular all across the globe. Their demand saw a surge in the United States. Especially during this pandemic, in Florida State N95 masks and respirators are popular because of their capability to stop the surge of Covid-19.