There is a lot of misinformation and misinterpretation and information being spread around about the role of protective gear and respiratory masks as protection against the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. There is a lot that we still do not know about this disease.
The scientists support the possibility that the virus causing COVID-19, known as the SARS-CoV-2 can be spread from person to person through fluids, water droplets, and aerosols being inhaled near the source. The people who are asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic are most likely to be spreading the virus this way. Thus, to prevent these droplets from transferring, people have started using respiratory masks to cover their mouth and nose.
Custom Earth Promos is a manufacturer of reusable bags made out of recycled materials such as jute and cotton. They also customize these bags to use as promotional products. In this time of crisis, they have started to manufacture and sell Kn95 masks or the thick respiratory layered masks for prevention against the coronavirus. You can purchase them online on their website.
Should the use of masks be recommended?
Scientists and healthcare workers do not recommend the use of these masks for people who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19. The reasons for this are the following:
- Lack of scientific evidence of its use: We have little to no knowledge about this deadly virus and the way that it spreads. There is no scientific evidence that proves that these masks are effective in reducing the risk of transmission.
- Result in lower distancing efforts: When people wear these masks, they think that they are completely safe and cannot catch the virus. This makes them disregard social distancing which makes them more at risk. Thus, these masks could lead to even lesser distancing efforts.
- Preserve the stock: These supplies are more required by healthcare workers who spend time treating infected patients. It should be saved for them as they are more at risk than us who only have to stay home and stay safe.
Filter efficiency and fit for masks
The best way to judge the effectiveness of masks is through its filter performance and its fit. The filter of these masks works by diffusion of small particles and interception of the large particles. The most common masks used are the N95 masks.
These masks have a 95% efficiency of capturing particles greater than 0.3 microns in size. The cloth masks, t-shirt masks, and scarf masks only have 10% to 40% efficiency in capturing these particles making it less safe.
The fit is essential to ensure that particles are not leaking inside through the gaps in the masks. The surgical masks have 67% to 90% total fit efficiency to prevent leakage, whereas cloth alternatives have much lower efficiency.
The information above proves that the surgical face masks such as N95 are way more effective in preventing the spread of any kind of germs than masks made from any other material. However, these masks are not confirmed to be a source of prevention. Thus, you must distance yourself and save these masks for people at higher risk.