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Coronavirus: How effective is your mask – Three points to check

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Do we need to wear two masks? And if not, what should we look out for? Three things we need to check to make sure the mask is used properly and to protect ourselves from the coronavirus

Do we need to wear two masks? And if not, what should we look out for? The danger of new coronavirus mutations, which scientists say could make the virus even more contagious, worries us a lot and makes us wonder about the effectiveness of the masks.

Every day we can meet people who do not wear their mask properly, masks that do not stand properly and irritate the skin. For all these reasons, the World Health Organization has issued instructions on the proper use of the mask. Three elements are what matter: the right fit, the right filtration and how well we breathe wearing a mask. 

These are the questions you need to answer to see if your mask is effective in protecting you from the coronavirus:

Does the mask fit your face?

The right way of wearing the mask is such that it leaves no gaps on its sides, so that during respiration the aerosols remain inside the mask and there is no so-called “leakage”. Research has shown that this “leak” is one of the most important issues regarding the effectiveness of a mask. Our faces are, of course, different and, as is obvious, not all masks fit everyone. The wire that is usually embedded in the nose, even if compressed, can leave gaps during a conversation or it is possible to create gaps in the chin and cheeks.

So the most important thing is to check that the mask touches our face properly without creating gaps on the sides and nose. It would be good to check the different sizes that may offer some masks that may best suit your face.

Does the mask filter the particles? 

Along with the leak, we should also be concerned with how the mask filters out contaminated particles in the aerosols, while at the same time we can breathe properly. The right masks regulate the flow of air through the fabric, reducing the number of particles passing in all directions. Different fabrics offer different results: masks with multiple layers of polyester or cotton fabric seem to be the most effective. Washing does not affect the effectiveness of the mask as recent findings show that fabric masks filter air properly and are effective even after 50 washes.

Are they comfortable? 

Comfort is also an important factor as headaches, itching and difficulty breathing due to the rise in temperature while wearing the mask are common. When our masks are uncomfortable, it is very likely that we are not wearing them properly and this can contribute to the spread of the coronavirus. So we have to make sure that they are convenient so that we do not have to remove them once in a while.

The Right Mask for Coronavirus?

How do we ensure that we wear the best or appropriate mask to prevent transmission? The good news is that preliminary data show that reusable textile masks manage to “filter” satisfactorily and can effectively reduce leakage. So according to world health organization guidelines, as long as the mask fits comfortably on your face with a few leaks as possible on the sides, it offers effective protection even with the appearance of new mutations.

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