The Coronavirus pandemic has raised over a thousand and one questions in just a few months of its arrival. Most of these questions are still unanswered as the virus is proving to be a tough nut to crack.
As more and more people get infected every day, people have begun to think of ways to protect themselves and their families. Although staying indoors has proven to be a good preventive measure but still leaves further questions.
So what if there's no cure after all of this? How do we keep safe and protected from the virus? Do we just have to get in harm's way and hope on our immune systems to fight the battle for us? What do we do?
Hand sanitizers and latex gloves work for the hands, how about our faces where the viruses deposited in the air could easily pass through? How do we protect it? How do we protect the kids and the elderly? You can go on and on with the questions.
Earlier in the pandemic, researchers advised the common citizens to make do with whatever cloth masks they had and leave the respirator facemasks—which were in short supply at the time—for the health workers.
As a matter of fact, the president of the United States of America has made it clear that it is mandatory to have your masks on whenever you are in public places.
A few months after that, researchers found out that the cloth facemasks weren't protective enough and didn't have the protective feature that respiratory masks have. They advised citizens to buy respirator facemasks if they had to leave the house.
Now, this leads to a new question.
Why are respirator masks more effective?
Although facemasks aren't 100% guarantee that one is totally safe from contracting the virus, face masks offer a protective and preventive cover to the nose and mouth. Respirator masks have been proferred by researchers because it has some important protective features that a normal facemask doesn't have. Some of these features include:
1. Respirator masks make it easy to breathe: unlike cloth masks that are mostly made really thick for the sake of filtration, causing users to have difficulty breathing, respirator masks make it breathable. Like the N95 masks that have a lot of effort put in them to ensure that users can find some air in and out of the mask.
2. Design: respirator masks are designed in a way that it is easy to determine which part faces out and which part lands on your face. This is good for people who might take the mask off for a quick break to slip it back on. A lot of the cloth masks out there are poorly designed that you don't know which part is which and if you are trying to protect yourself from the virus, you could wear the outside part in after a break and end up infecting yourself.
3. Tight-fitting: a good protective mask should be able to block and prevent air from coming in since the virus has been discovered to linger for a little while in the air. Respirator masks fit firmly to your face and give only very little or no room for infected air to come in from the sides.
4. Filters: this is one other thing that a cloth mask doesn't have. Respirator masks are designed by specialists who have made sure that the mask is able to prevent the virus from needling through. The filters inside the mask block out up to 95% of the virus, while it is more or less a free entry or exit with ordinary face masks.
5. Cloth masks are not trusted: there is little or close to nothing in the evidence that a cloth mask can help prevent an uninfected person from contracting the virus or preventing an infected person from spreading it. Cloth masks do not offer enough benefits to be trusted. In fact, a study in 2015 states that cloth facemasks may even increase your chances of getting infected.
It has been questions, questions, and more questions and now that we had found out why respirator masks may offer more protective and preventive measures to the Covid-19 pandemic, another question may arise.
Which respiratory mask is better, N95 NIOSH or KN95 facemasks?
Both N95 and KN95 are tight-fitting disposable masks which also has specialized filters that help to ensure that 95% of these viruses don't come in contact with your nose and mouth region.
N95 is the recommended respirator mask in the United States, while the KN95 is recommended by China. Nonetheless, both masks are amazing for protective and preventive measures.
There are however some slight differences that may not actually be so much of a concern to the end-users since they both offer good results. Some of the differences include:
KN95 facemasks manufacturers run a fit test on real humans and make sure that it will only have 8% leakages or less. The N95 doesn't go through all that process, but that doesn't really make a big difference because they're both effective.
N95 respirator masks manufacturers put a lot of effort into pressure drop for both inhaling and exhaling this helps with breathability. That doesn't mean that you cannot breathe comfortably with the KN95, the N95 just has a stricter requirement that's all.
With the current reopenings in some countries, it is obvious that a good respirator mask backed with good latex gloves would surely come in handy in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. There are tons of places you could get one for yourself, you could buy facemasks online, at a retail store, or even at a pharmacy near you.
It is undoubtedly true that facemasks are a necessity and would continue to be essential as long as the virus still lives amongst us. And remember that respirator masks are recommended to help prevent the spread of not only Covid-19 but also other infectious airborne diseases.
The battle against the deadly virus is not over and we need to join hands together to make sure that it doesn't spread as much as it did when it first came and also