Masks have become all the rage ever since the covid-19 pandemic. For most of us, we can’t even remember a time before masks were in fashion since the reach of the pandemic on our lives continues growing tumultuously. That being said, research now shows that simply wearing a mask is no longer the only priority, rather, you will be required to evaluate the material of the mask as well as the way it fits your mouth and nose, in order to understand how well it can protect you from the effects of the coronavirus.
The Fit Of The Mask Is More Important Than Donning A Mask
Since the covid-19 mostly spreads through contact, protecting your respiratory system through masks becomes a very crucial aspect of coming out of the other end of the pandemic, unscathed by its negative effects.
Various medical agencies such as the CDC and the NIOSH have conclusively maintained that the simple act of finding the right combination of masks as well as the right fit for your face, can be more efficient in protecting you from the virus.
Even as the effect of the covid-19 pandemic slowed down in certain countries, governments still remained on high alert and maintained mandates that required people to sport masks in any public place. To take this a step further, the CDC even released guidelines for what conditions your mask should fulfill, in order to offer you full protection from the virus. Such conditions included the presence of nose wires, lack of gaps, proper fitting around the face, as well as a protective material, which is washable and provides room for respiration.
As the pandemic continued to rage on despite numerous fights, the effectiveness of masks was called to question, during which time, medical bodies still maintained that wearing a mask can lower the risk of contamination to a large extent.
During the second wave, various health agencies are calling for the need to wear two masks, since it provides greater protection and can help contain the spread of infection.
The studies wherein researchers analyzed and evaluated the efficiency of various masks, three-ply cloth masks, as well as surgical masks, proved to provide the greatest level of protection from contamination when compared to their counterparts. When used in combination, these two can provide the highest level of protection, which is what is recommended for people who wish to find the most efficient way of protecting themselves from the claws of the virus.
In these above-mentioned studies, various types of masks were taken into account, along with the different types of fits they provide, as well as looping techniques used by wearers for better adjustment of the mask strings. Their efficiency was tested against aerosol sprays and other natural particles suspended in their air, by assessing the level of such particles that were allowed to escape the mask or enter it.
Francoise Blachere, who was the lead author in one such prominent study, maintained that people who are on the front lines of this fight against the virus, as well as the general public who are forming the links for the spread of any infection, must evaluate the filtering properties of the materials which constitute their masks since it can be an effective gatekeeper of your health in the face of the virus.
Researchers such as Blachere, and other experts in this field, hope that in the future, they can devise better and more effective models to assess the quality of various mask types and their efficiency in warding off even more minute particles, as well as their ability to contain cough particles. That being said, in the meantime, people are advised to keep their masks on at all times and try to double up on masks as much as possible.
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