What is the best face mask for virus protection? This is a question that many are asking now that there is an ongoing pandemic caused by a new strain of coronavirus called Sars-Cov-2. According to health experts, wearing the best face mask for virus, plus social distancing can minimize one’s exposure to the latest coronavirus.
How Do Face Masks Work?
Masks are designed to filter particles from entering a person’s nose or mouth when they inhale or even exhale for that matter. How effective the mask is dependent mostly on what kind of mask is used. That said, here are the types of face masks and their uses.
Respirators come in various types with the N100 considered as the best face mask virus because it efficiently blocks out 100% of tiny particles floating around. The N99 can block up to 99% while the N95 can only filter up to 95% of minute particles that range from 100 to 300nm. There are respirators that are equipped with valves to remove exhaled air from the mask thus making it easier for the wearer to breathe better. However, the expelled air may not be safe for others around you because they may inhale any particles that are dangerous to their health.
There are several kinds of surgical masks available where most of them are disposable or are for single use only. They are designed to provide coverage to the lower portion of the face starting from the nose all the way to the jaws. These products are typically created from synthetic fiber that is breathable for the user. Compared to respirators, a surgical mask isn’t required to meet any filtration requirements by the NIOSH. Surgical masks don’t even have to be fit tightly when they are worn. There are different reports on how efficient this type of mask in filtering particles, but so far it is effective in preventing particles from being inhaled.
This type of mask is the least effective type of mask but, compared to not using one, it can provide certain protection when you are outside. How efficient cloth masks are will depend on how they are crafted. If you are going to make your own, it would be better to follow the recommendations of the CDC and use fabrics made from cotton.
How to Wear a Face Mask when Sick
Healthcare providers and experts recommend that masks are worn by those who are feeling under the weather. These are the steps on how to wear one.
- You will need to disinfect your hands first whether by using hand sanitizer or soap and water prior to handling a mask.
- Give the mask a thorough inspection prior to wearing it as a damaged mask can leave you compromised.
- The stiff side of the mask usually goes on top of the nose since it needs to be pinched close on the nose to secure it.
- A mask has two sides. The one with color and the other is white. The side with color should be placed at the front.
- Masks with ear loops should be worn by looping it on one ear then the next. Again, pinch the stiff portion of the mask on the nose to keep it steady. Pull the mask down at the bottom until the jaw is covered.
- You should sanitize your hands before removing the mask.
- Avoid touching the main portion of the face mask. When removing it, start by removing the loops from the ears.
- Dispose of the mask properly to avoid endangering others.
If you are wondering how to wear a face mask when not sick, the same rules apply.
Face Mask Tips to Consider
Even if you have the best face mask for virus protection, when it is not worn properly, it is possible that you are exposing yourself to the deadly virus. That said, here are a few more tips to consider.
- Follow correct hand hygiene when using a face mask or when touching one to avoid germs from transferring.
- The front portion of the mask should never be touched when putting it on or removing it even. Instead, the mask by the loops or ties since they are not directly exposed to the particles being exhaled and inhaled.
- DIY face masks must be washed and dried thoroughly after they are used.
- For those who will be reusing their surgical mask or respirator, you can place it in a breathable bag or container for a week. This way, any virus or germs that are transferred to the mask will be rendered inactive.
What is the Best Face Mask to Protect from Germs?
The respirator is the best face mask to wear if you want to protect yourself from germs and viruses. This is because germs and viruses are filtered thoroughly. However, with respirators being in high demand, wearing other kinds of masks may suffice for others. This way, respirators will be given to those who are working in hospitals where they are at higher risk of being exposed to the current coronavirus from their patients.
Recommendations on Dealing with Covid-19
The CDC strongly encourages the general population to wear masks, whether handmade or bought from stores, whenever they go out not only to protect themselves from the said virus but to keep others safe too, especially when you have the flu. We all know that the coronavirus gets transferred when infected individual coughs or sneezes because the droplets coming from them can attach to another person who is in close proximity. Wearing protective gear reduces the possibility of being contaminated especially when it is combined with proper physical distancing.
Learning how to wear a face mask when sick is also helpful when you need to get supplies or run errands. However, specialists recommend that if you are feeling under the weather, staying at home is a must and have someone else handle it for you. This is because you will be at more risk of getting sick since your immunity is currently weakened.
Knowing the various kinds of masks is just one part of protecting one’s self against Covid-19, knowing how to use and when to use them is second. And with proper hygiene and physical distancing, it is possible that we can combat the spread of Covid-19.