The community understandably wonders how to cope with multiple emergencies, with hundreds of game fires across the state and major, complex fires affecting the air quality of almost every Bay Area region: raging fires, large-scale smoke, and a coronavirus pandemic.
In the past, pre-COVID-19, people in smoky areas will stop going out to buy N95 or N100 masks to shield themselves from the tiny particles that come into the air as a result of a forest fire, which can have a negative impact on their wellbeing.
But how can Californians protect themselves best from fires and COVID-19 with those masks that are short-supplying and badly needed by health professionals and first responders?
Briefly saying, it isn't evident. And the Disease Control and Prevention Centers can not provide detailed guidance about the best route to be taken. These concurrent events have never happened before, so the best advice we can provide is for the time being.
How to protect yourself from Wildfire smoke?
The best way to defend against wildfire smoke is to remain indoors or reduce your time while smoke is in the air. This is particularly essential if you are at an increased risk of adverse health effects or have heart or lung disease. Staying at home would also decrease COVID-19 exposure. Close all windows and gates and fans or air conditioning with a new movable filter to stop external air coming inside. You will create smoother air space at home. Using a handheld air-cleaner in the rooms you most occupy to filter the air. Reducing your physical activity is another way to minimize smoke exposures, as it is avoiding things such as burning candles, gas stoves, and vacuuming, which increase indoor pollution.
The smoke and ash of wildfire can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. You can make it hard to breathe, cough, or wheeze. A breathing system (mask) protects your nose and mouth, fits securely in the face, and can filter out particles of smoke or ash until you inhale. Respirators for children are not sized.
Who needs to wear a respirator?
Many who remain indoors or spend time outside in wildfires are doing the best to protect against exposure and do not have to wear a breathing agent.
To ensure optimal security for people who wish to use a respirator, learning how to pick and use the respirator correctly is necessary.
People with a smoky atmosphere can also benefit from using a firmly fitting respirator to decrease their exposure, even indoors.
People who must be outdoors in smoky air or an ash-covered area for more extended periods will gain to minimize their exposure using a close-fitted N95 or P100 breather.
How to choose the right respirator?
Respirators are sold in various hardware and pharmacy shops.
Choose a sized size that fits under and above your nose, and seal your face tightly. Any leakage along the mask boundary contributes to the entry and inhalation of unfiltered air.
The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety has tested and authorized a "particulate respirator" The words "NIOSH" are written on it and either "N95" or "P100."
Choose a respirator that is fitted with two belts.
NOT use a single strap or two bands around your ears to choose a mask. They are not meant to screen your face tightly and do not cover your lungs.
The best masks to filter wildfire either has a shortage or have exhalation valves to avoid coronavirus spread. Simultaneously, it is not very nice to flush out wildfire smoke from a cloth mask — most effective for preventing the spread of the virus.
What the experts say
One of the safest ways to avoid the spread of COVID-19 from smoking is by using an N95 mask without an exhaust valve. If you have somebody you rescued, and want to wear them, go for them. Go for them. But bear in mind that these masks are not available and should be reserved for health care practitioners. Don't rush to store them.
Moreover, some officials in public health say that they are not for all. Professionals have been claiming that they can't wear comfortably for long periods and need to ensure that they function efficiently with a near seal on their mouth and nose. Wear it if you feel better with an N95 respirator. Please do not feel so comfortable using for if you feel worse.
Tips to use N95 respirators
Here you can find some tips for using a respirator N95 / P100. Follow instructions from the mask maker. Try screening your mask closely. Given that facial hair can not have a strong seal, ensure that the skin is cleanly rasped when the respirator reaches the face. Throw away your respirator if it becomes more difficult to breathe or if it becomes dirty. If you have trouble breathing, get dark, or have other symptoms when using a respirator, go to a cleaner air place and take it away. Carrying a breathing device may increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, especially when it's hot or physically active. Drink water and take breaks regularly.
Airborne can make breathing more difficult. Ask your doctor before using a respirator if you have heart or lung issues.
If you have trouble breathing, get dark, or have other symptoms when using a respirator, go to a cleaner air place and take it away.
Carrying a breathing device may increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, especially when it's hot or physically active. Drink water and take breaks regularly.
Respirators are not available in children's sizes. Since they are not fit enough to provide a tight facial seal, it is lame to wear.