After spending eight months with coronavirus, it is now clear that wearing a facemask saves from contracting the virus. It also explains how a facemask not only protects you but also people around you from catching the virus. But a simple face mask mistake can defy the whole purpose of wearing it in the first place.
There are so many options available in face masks; from homemade cloth masks to professional N95 facemasks, there are so many to choose from. It is necessary to pick a mask that effectively helps viral entry but what helps more is how you are using this mask.
One common face mask mistake that people make is not checking the filtration ability of their mask. The real purpose of wearing a face mask is to trap and catch the airborne coronavirus particles and prevent their entry to the mouth and nose. But those masks which are made of cotton or low-grade fiber are unable to hold this particle entry.
The huge size Covid particles easily get trapped into the mask as they directly bunce to the fiber and couldn’t take themselves out. But for small particles, it is more complicated. the medium size bodies are the most tricky to deal with as they can pass by twisting or turning inside the mask fiber.
It means low-grade masks and cloth masks are not effective for providing 100% protection from the coronavirus.
Researchers agree that N95 masks are the best face masks in terms of protection from all sized particles. They can trap up to 95% of the pathogens including coronavirus which is why they are named N95.
These N95 use synthetic fibers which create a dense structure making it hard for the particles to pass through it. Also, these types of masks are the only option that is equally effective against pathogens of all sizes.
Earlier this year, a study was targeted towards understanding the filtration efficacy of various materials used to make face masks.
It showed that some materials provide a better hold over the particles as compared to others. The efficient materials included chiffon and flannel while other materials i.e. satin and synthetic silk were unable to filter them.
In addition to filtration capacity, face fitting also matters to understand the effectiveness of a face mask. There are three things that every good-fitted mask should provide. First, it should have a big surface area, a comfortable fit especially at the edges, and lastly, some breathing space around nostrils.
A mask that fits well provides a good breathing space, and covers the face well is the ideal choice. But none of these things are followed when people buy a face mask.
Without using an efficient face mask, expecting it to save from coronavirus is not wise. This simple face mask mistake of not knowing the protection level can put your health in danger. If you belong to a high-risk group or live in an area with active Covid-19 cases, never take risk of using a substandard mask.