The unlock period is on and as advised by the WHO (World Health Organization) and other health authorities it is important to cover your face with a mask when you step out of the house. This can be one of the most effective ways of controlling the spread of the coronavirus. You need to know the more people wear these face coverings the better it is. This can stop the widespread of the virus.
There is general confusion on the type of face-covering you can use. Should this be a three-layered mask or a pain bandana or a handkerchief? Should you use surgical masks or go for the N95 masks?
There was a research conducted to find out which face masks can work out most effective. There were 14 masks tested and a video of 40 seconds was recorded for each of these. This research conducted showed ‘stark differences’ in the effectiveness of the different face masks.
The best mask was the N95 mask with a transmission of the droplet less than even 0.1%. On other words, these masks could block the droplets to nearly 99%. These are not advised for the general public as there might be a shortage for the healthcare workers who need it more than us.
The three-layered surgical masks were the next best. These masks can block anywhere from 95% to more of the droplet transmission. There are multiple two-layered masks that can work as well as the three-layered.
You need to be aware that a gaiter or a bandana does not work efficiently for blocking the droplet transmission. The bandana, that is double layered can block only 50% of the droplets.
This study carried out also proved the role of the face mask in controlling the spread of the virus. Everyone emits small particles even when they talk, and these particles can be infectious. Around 50% of the transmission is said to occur before the people develop any symptoms, according to the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Wearing a mask can stop the spread of infection unknowingly.
Besides wearing the mask, it is also important to follow hand hygiene and social distancing for control of the pandemic.
For control of the spread of the virus, it is necessary that, if not 100%, at least 80% of the people need to wear face masks. This is all the more effective as compared to even a lockdown.
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation has forecasted that almost 33,000 can be avoided by the 1st of October if 95 percent of the people wear masks.
Even if you are living in a community where few of the people wear masks, you can bring down the risks of contracting the virus if you wear a mask.
Face masks can definitely reduce the risk to a large extent.
Make sure you do not touch the front portion of the masks and also keep away from touching your nose and eyes. Ensure you keep that distance from others when you go out and wash your hands as frequently as possible.