COVID-19: Which mask should one wear?

Hyderabad: Face masks have now become an equally essential part of ones dressing process before leaving the house. It can also be called as ‘weapon’ which every individual possess in this corona times.Now every individual is seen wearing a mask to help slow the spread of the deadly outbreak. A mask is effective only if worn properly, fitting snugly from the top of the nose to below the chin with no gaps. Masks should be worn the entire time you are outside and should not be moved up and down. While no mask is 100% effective, it can help keep both you and others safe when combined with social distancing and regular hand-washing. 

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Types of masks its level of protection

The N95 mask

medical face mask

The N95 is the most recognizable and effective mask. Its name means it can block at least 95% of tiny particles — 0.3 microns — that are the hardest to capture. An average human hair is about 70 to 100 microns wide. These masks, which are designed for single use, are made with polyester and and other synthetic fibers, including layers of tangled fibers that act as a filter to make it harder for particles to pass through. One have to make sure that they are no gaps between the edge of the mask and your skin. This one includes a nose piece that is molded to your face.

Some N95s have exhalation valves on the front, which make it easier to breathe. Those masks are often used in construction. This masks cost between 450 and 500.

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Medical masks

Medical protective mask. Prevent Coronavirus

Medical masks come in a few varieties and are less effective than N95s: Some filter as much as 60% to 80% of small particles under lab conditions. When worn properly, they can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by catching droplets when you cough or sneeze. 

Medical masks are often made out of layers of breathable, paper like synthetic fabric that is cut into a rectangular shape and has pleats to help it expand and fit more snugly around your face.

They are disposable and designed to be used just once. While they can protect you from large droplets and splatter, their looser fit is partly what makes them less effective than N95s. These masks cost between Rs. 100 to Rs. 150.

Homemade mask

Sewing reusable fabric masks at home for coronavirus protection.
Sewing reusable fabric masks at home for coronavirus protection.

With medical masks in short supply, many have turned to making or buying homemade ones. Depending on the fabric and how it’s made, a homemade mask can sometimes protect the way a simple medical version does. And any face covering is better than nothing. A good homemade mask uses a material that is dense enough to capture viral particles but breathable enough that you can tolerate it.

You can use materials like a heavy cotton T-shirt, flannel or a or a tightly woven dish towel. Material with a higher thread count — which allows very little light to filter through — will likely offer the best protection. Various patterns for making a cotton mask have spread around the internet. Look for one that has at least two layers of material, comes up over your nose and below your chin and has secure straps.

These are making good money as well and are sold between Rs. 20 to Rs. 50.

Homemade With Filters

Medical masks

Some homemade masks have a pocket sewn in to hold an additional filter. Coffee filters and paper towels have been tested. One experiment found that two layers of paper towels on their own blocked between 23% and 33% of 0.3-micron particles. People have been experimenting with filtering materials, including air filters and vacuum bags.

They can be effective but can present risks. Many are not breathable and may contain harmful fibers that you could inhale. Also, the average person doesn’t need the level of filtration that these materials provide.

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Nihad Amani

Nihad Amani is a reporter for Currently she is pursuing her Masters in Journalism. She did here Bachelors in the same subject. She has experience working with newsrooms and newspapers. Nihad mostly writes about local city news.
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