The world seems to be adapting to the new normal, yet people are still afraid of being exposed to the virus. Since COVID-19 is airborne and can spread through air and touch, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend fabric / cloth face masks to the general public.
Why do you need to wear Face Masks?
Wearing a face mask will protect you from the possible infection of the people around you. You may be exposed to the virus if you inhale new corona virus droplet containing air. While people may still have doubts about masks, a number of instances support the effectiveness of masks. A recent study by the US Health Affairs found that the mask mandate led to a slowdown in COVID-19 cases, and the growth rate initially saw a fall of 0.9% and a fall of 2% within three weeks. Masks have the ability to prevent transmission even in high-risk scenarios.
Why are face masks with valves dangerous?
Face Masks with valves are dangerous because:
- They filter only the inhaled air and not the exhaled air. A COVID-19 carrier wearing a valve mask exposes surrounding people to the virus.
- They expel exhaled air with a force that can cause infections.
- These masks contribute to pollution.
- Uncomfortable to wear for a long time.
Why opt for Fabric Face Masks?
Masks such as Surgical grade N95 and respirators are expensive and are produced in a limited supply to health workers who are particularly at high risk of exposure, as suggested by WHO. On the contrary, fabric masks can be used by everyone else and made easily at home. They ‘re affordable and comfortable if you want to wear them for a long time. Unlike medical masks, these are reusable and can be washed and disinfected after each use. This way, you can use it for a long time and replace it when it’s worn out. According to the US study, house hold tissues removed particles of 0.3 1.0 microns in diameter, which is the typical size of the virus. Thus, they concluded that there were multiple layers of the fabric or heavyweight cotton fabrics could provide ample protection from the infection.
What should you keep in mind while buying or making your own DIY Fabric Mask?
- The materials should be thick enough to capture the droplets but should allow you to breathe easily.
- If such a material is not available, try to make three folds/layers of the same fabric and use it as a mask. The outer layer can be a synthetic layer that doesn’t absorb water easily, and the innermost layer can be absorbent, which comes in contact with the mouth.
- Avoid stretchy materials as they tend to increase pore sizes.
- Opt for fabrics that can be washed at 60°C(140F) or higher and wash your masks compulsorily after each use and do not share it with anyone.
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