When it comes to protecting yourself from COVID-19, there is one easy way you can do it. This is wearing a mask. There are many different options when it comes to masks. These options include homemade sewn cloth masks, makeshift bandana-type facial coverings, surgical masks, disposable medical masks, and N95 respirators. Many people are using homemade sewn cloth masks or makeshift bandana-type facial coverings. Though these may be partly effective, the most effective way to prevent the spread of Coronavirus is to use an N95 respirator. A surgical mask, or disposable mask, is a form of personal protective equipment (PPE). It usually fits loosely over the mouth and nose and can shield against large droplets from coughing, sneezing, or sprays. However, they cannot shield the wearer from smaller droplets that can happen in common conversations. These are ideally only used once and are not washable, so they should not be shared between different people. If used over and over again, these masks can actually lead to self-contamination because they are unable to be washed. Cloth face coverings, which include homemade sewn masks and makeshift bandana-type facial coverings, are slightly more effective because they generally fit tighter over the nose and mouth. There are lots of YouTube videos on how to sew these at home and they can be made with fabric from scarves, old t-shirts, bandanas, and pillowcases. Thick cotton fabric is ideal, but this is still not entirely effective from protecting yourself. The only truly effective way to not only protect others, but protect yourself too, is to wear a seal-tested respirator mask. This is where the N95 respirator comes in. These masks have tangled fibers that filter pathogens in the air, and they are very tightly fit on the face. Because they are tight, they form a seal around the mouth and nose, the most common areas for a virus to enter the body. They are usually hard to come by because they are so effective at preventing the virus from entering the body.
The CDC recommends that everyone should wear a mask when they are in public or coming into contact with other people. When not in your individual family or with your roommates, you should definitely be wearing a mask. If you want to be completely safe, use an N95 respirator. This is especially important in places like grocery stores, convenience stores, and other crowded public places. Because it can be hard to stay 6 feet away from people in these locations, it is crucial to wear an N95 respirator. For older people or people that fall into the high-risk category for complications from the coronavirus, a highly protective mask is very important, so they do not fall ill. Also, many people are asymptomatic, which means they do not show symptoms. For this reason, whenever you see people you do not live with, you should be wearing a mask. Asymptomatic people can appear completely healthy but can be carriers of the virus. The most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this is to wear an N95 respirator.
A cloth face mask or surgical/disposable face mask will not completely protect you from COVID-19 because the smaller droplets exchanged in daily conversations can get through these types of facial coverings. When someone with coronavirus, whether they show symptoms or not, coughs, sneezes, talks, or even breathes, they send very tiny droplets into the air. This is when a mask, specifically a N95 respirator, helps. N95 respirators cover your mouth and nose and can block the release of virus-filled droplets in the air. Along with protecting the person you are talking to, it also protects you from them. A cloth face mask will not completely block the coronavirus. Though it is an added layer of protection for you and others, you also need to partake in social-distancing, handwashing, and wearing more protective types of masks like N95 respirators to be even more safe.
When wearing a N95 respirator , make sure it fits tightly around your face with no gaps. In order to work effectively, it needs to create a seal around your nose and mouth. N95 masks filter out 95% of even the smallest particles in the air, as long as they fit exactly right. The filter that is present in N95 respirators is a key part of what makes it effective. Instead of leaking through a thin, or even thick, layer of cloth found in homemade masks, these respirators utilize a filter that catches the tiny virus droplets. When making homemade masks, it can be hard to find the right balance between too few layers and too many layers. Too few layers will not catch enough of the virus, while too many layers will make it hard to breathe. If a mask is uncomfortable, people may not want to wear it, which will continue the spread of COVID-19. This is why N95 respirators are the easiest and most effective way to stop the spread. Once you get one of these masks, you will not have to struggle with other types of masks in order to get a both tight and comfortable fit. Also, you can rest easy while knowing that you can help to slow and stop the pandemic. Change starts with every single person and each person has the incredible ability to play a part in protecting other people and themselves from this virus.