As world-acclaimed health practitioners work to end the pandemic, it is important for us to maintain safety measures until an effective vaccine is ready for mass production. Wearing a medical face mask is one of the common and most effective ways to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to practicing social distancing and washing hands or using hand sanitizer, using a medical mask can keep you safe from the virus.
Do Face Masks Protect Against Coronavirus
Yes, and this should never be doubted. For people who often find themselves in crowded spaces, the importance of a face mask cannot be downplayed. Face masks work effectively against the virus by restricting the transmission of respiratory droplets. When inside open spaces such as a school, office, store, restaurant and public transportation, a mask is needed.
That being said, face masks come in three different types:
Homemade face masks, made from cloth
Disposable medical masks
Our focus here is on medical masks and its effectiveness. We analyse this in the next section.
Features of a Medical Face Mask
Often regarded as surgical masks, medical masks are loose-fitting disposable face masks that cover your lower face area including your nose, mouth and chin. Medical masks are used in surgical operations because they protect wearers from large particle droplets, sprays and splashes. They also prevent the transmission of toxic infectious respiratory particles between the wearer and others in their path.
Medical masks may be designed differently but always appear flat and rectangular, packaged in neat pleats of folds. At the top of the mask is a thin metal strip that angles around your nose. Long elastic bands, looped behind your ears, hold surgical masks in place. Medical face masks rarely fall out of place.
How to Wear a Face Mask
The CDC recommends wearing a medical face mask if you have the virus and are around people who are most-susceptible to the virus.
Use periodically; never more than a few hours
Ensure coloured-side of mask face outwards
Place metal piece of mask over ridge of nose
Wear over nose, mouth and chin.
Adjust mask, ensuring there are no gaps on both sides.