Masks are beneficial to people as protective equipment against coronavirus. Masks are proven effective in filtering particles. Masks like the N95 mask are the most effective and the most in-demand mask during this pandemic. There are ways to consider before wearing the N95 mask. A clean face, for example, is needed. Meaning, men should shave their beards; even if it means shaving their tradition as well.
In the Rocky Mountains of West Denver, ski patrollers have to shave their beard before wearing the N95 mask. This news is from Mr. Tony Cammarata, the one overseeing the ski patrol in the area. It has been a tradition among the employees to retain their facial hair. Cutting them would mean a slight inconvenience to their tradition. Facial hair, like the N95 mask, acts as a protection against harsh natural elements like blistering winter wind and frozen temperatures.
In Arapahoe Basin, 80 percent of male patrollers changed their appearances due to shaving. According to Mr. Cammarata, the Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) had issued a chart depicting 40-plus facial hair stylings. Ski patrollers working for more than 10 years felt new about their faces being shaved. Since public amusements like ski resorts are slowly being opened, this slight inconvenience means protecting themselves from the deadly virus.
Shaving their facial hair is part of the protocol issued by CDC for employees who are working on-site. Wearing a protective mask like the N95 mask is appropriate for them not to be in contact with the virus. As of November 23, there are about 4,282 active covid-19 cases in the state of Colorado.
What does this mean to their business?
Wearing protective masks like the N95 mask is important. Since businesses are slowly being opened, business enterprises should adapt to the new normal set up; this includes wearing the N95 mask. Following state protocols in operating businesses is necessary. Although the rate of activity is not as rigorous as the era before covid, getting back into business means a lot to these ski patrollers.
Why do they have to shave their facial hair?
Shaving their facial hair is a necessary move. Part of the protocol in wearing an N95 mask is having a clean face. Any facial hair that obstructs the insides of an N95 mask should be trimmed or shaved. Facial hair traps particles like dust and bacteria. The inside of an N95 mask is sterile. Exhaled air is filtered by the N95 mask. With the beard on, particles within the exhaled air are trapped by the beard. This can endanger the wearer of an N95 mask.
What makes the N95 mask special that shaving their beard is a necessary move?
The N95 mask is the most recommended mask by health experts. Thousands of pieces of the N95 mask have been used every day since the pandemic started. The N95 mask is approved and cleared by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With the approval and clearance from these organizations, the N95 mask is guaranteed safe to use.
The N95 mask filters up to 95% of particles that are 0.1 microns in size and bacteria that are 3.0 microns in size. The N95 mask has multiple layers of filtration cloth. Unlike the surgical mask, the N95 mask offers an even tighter seal around the area of the nose and mouth.
Shaving is necessary because facial hair disrupts the filtration ability of the N95 mask. It might be a slight inconvenience but shaving is for the best. It is all for their safety.
Who cannot wear the N95 mask?
Aside from men with beards, there are people who cannot wear the N95 mask. After all, the N95 mask is not for everyone.
Children age 2 and below are not allowed to wear the N95 mask. The N95 mask is thicker than a surgical mask due to its multiple layers of filter. Breathing can be difficult for children if they wear the N95 mask as protection.
- People with respiratory illnesses
As mentioned, the N95 mask creates a tight seal around the area of the mouth and nose. This tight seal from the N95 mask makes breathing a struggle. People with chronic respiratory illnesses cannot wear the N95 mask. The N95 mask obstructs breathing and people with respiratory issues cannot properly breathe. Thus, contributes to further breathing complications such as asphyxia. People with asthma however can wear masks but they have to consult their pulmonologist if they are allowed to wear an N95 mask or other alternatives to the mask.
Other chronic respiratory illnesses include Pulmonary Fibrosis, Asbestosis, and Lung Cancer.
Unconscious people are not allowed to wear the N95 mask for the same reason as the first one. Unconscious patients are unable to mount and dismount the N95 mask. An assistance is needed to dismount the N95 mask, in case the patient went unconscious while wearing the mask.
- Mental Health conditions
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people with mental health conditions reaching the autism spectrum are prohibited from wearing the N95 mask. Wearing the N95 mask can induce distress and discomfort. This can trigger tantrums.
Wearing the N95 mask is a primary gesture that people should take into account. However, wearing the N95 mask does not mean a substitute to social/physical distancing. When going to public places like ski resorts, masks like the N95 mask are important.