The Best Masks for Coronavirus
With Coronavirus still affecting the country, hundreds of thousands of people are looking for face masks. Whether it is a cloth one, a bandana or a medical mask, everyone is on the hunt for the best masks for Coronavirus. If you are still looking for that perfect mask, don’t worry. Here is a list of the best masks to fight against COVID-19.
The Best Masks for Coronavirus
In March, several U.S. states and numerous countries around the world went into lockdown over the COVID-19 pandemic. In April, the CDC recommended that all U.S. citizens wear a mask or cloth face covering while in public, along with social distancing a minimum of six feet. This is especially relevant for people on public transportation; in a crowded space, such as a grocery store or job site; or in an area with a high amount of Coronavirus transmissions.
Numerous studies show that masks and face coverings can help tamper the spread of COVID-19, especially if the sick person is asymptomatic, meaning they don’t show any symptoms, or pre-symptomatic, meaning they haven’t shown symptoms yet. Many people sick with COVID-19 are asymptomatic.
COVID-19 is primarily spread through tiny respiratory droplets that occur when we talk, cough or sneeze. By wearing a mask or face covering, people can help prevent these virus-filled droplets from spreading in the air and possibly infecting another person. Masks can also help reinforce social distancing and prevent people from touching their faces.
Keep in mind that masks will not completely stop Coronavirus droplets from spreading; it is simply another layer of protection you should be doing along with social distancing and constant handwashing. The best way to not get COVID-19 is to stay at home.
So which mask is best?
Surgical Masks and N-95/N-99 Respirators
The best personal protective equipment, or PPE, are disposable surgical masks and fitted N-95/N-99 respirators. However, non-essential citizens should avoid these, as they are meant for healthcare workers and first responders, especially those that deal with COVID-19 every day. The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends that elderly people, people with underlying conditions and people with Coronavirus wear medical masks.
These PPE are in high demand but short supply, so please don’t buy these, is possible.
Non-essential citizens are instead urged to wear cloth masks. However, not all cloth masks are the same. Some cloth masks are better than others based on the number of materials used. In fact, the more material used in the mask, the better.
More material (especially thick material) can help limit the amount of droplets that could reach your face. WHO recommends a mask with three layers: an inner layer to absorb, a middle layer to filter and an outer layer. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using a mas with at least two layers of tightly woven cotton fabric.
The CDC also released instructions on how to make your own mask at home. You can make masks out of cotton, tea towels, pillowcases, linen, T-shirts and more. Add a copper or wire ribbon on the nose so it can fit better.
Another idea is to make a “hybrid” mask where you have one layer of cotton with another layer of silk, chiffon or flannel.
No matter what, make sure you sure fabric that won’t allow droplets to pass through but that allows you to breathe properly while wearing the mask. You can do a quick test by holding your material up to a light; the more holes you see, the less effective the material will be for a mask.
If you can’t make a mask using multiple layers of fabric, consider using a filter. A mask with a filter cuts down the chances of getting droplets better than a mask without a filter. Some people have gotten creative by using coffee filters, paper towels, unused vacuum cleaner bags and other air filters.
You can use these, but use a layer of fabric between the filter and your face so you don’t inhale potentially dangerous fibers from the filter. Avoid any filters that contain fiberglass.
Avoid Masks with Valves
You might have seen some masks with valves attached to the side. While these protect the wearer and can make it easier to breathe, they also exhale the wearer’s unfiltered air, which doesn’t protect the people around the wearer.
Think of them like one-way windows; they only really protect the wearer. If you are a carrier of COVID-19 and wear this mask, you could be spreading the Coronavirus droplets to people around you.
It is best to avoid this type of mask entirely.
How to Wear, Remove and Clean a Mask
No matter which mask you go with, make sure you are wearing it correctly.
The mask should cover your entire lower face, including your nose, mouth and sides of your face; there should be no gaps between the mask and skin. It should be secured with ties or ear loops.
Wearing a mask can sometimes be itchy or irritating, but never touch your face or mask with your hands. If you do touch your face or mask, wash your hands thoroughly. You should wash your hands every time you put on or remove the mask, too.
When it comes time to remove your mask, never grab it by the front. This is where the potential droplets are converged, so touching them and then yourself could get you sick. Instead, remove the mask from the ties or ear loops.
If possible, clean your mask or face covering every time you use it. It should be washed with hot, soapy water and dried using high heat. After you clean your mask, make sure you wash your hands. If you can’t clean the mask with water, store it in a sealable or paper bag for at least two days before wearing it again.
Before using your face mask again, inspect it for holes. Never share face masks.
For more information on how masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
The Surplus Store
If you are still looking for the best masks for Coronavirus, come to The Surplus Store.
At The Surplus Store, we carry hundreds of face masks and coverings, including bandanas. Stop by today to grab your essential face mask and protect yourself and others.
The Surplus Store is currently open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.