Wearing masks with COVID-19
How to wear a mask correctly and whether it can protect against the virus
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, seemingly trivial means of protection should not be neglected. You need to take good care of your health and the health of your loved ones. And try to observe hygiene measures as much as possible.
We tell you which masks will help protect against the virus, and share tips from the World Health Organization.
What are the masks?
From the point of view of an ordinary consumer, all disposable medical face protection can be divided into two large groups: medical surgical masks and medical respirators. They differ not only in appearance, but also in the degree of protection.
Conventional pharmacy surgical masks are rectangular and made of non-woven material. Such masks primarily protect the people around them, and not the one who wears them. Doctors use them to ensure sterility in the operating room, and patients with acute respiratory viral infections or influenza - so as not to infect anyone. All this nonwoven mask can do for us is to trap saliva particles that may contain germs. They protect healthy people weakly, because they cover only the nose and mouth, which is not enough to protect themselves from the virus. If only because your forehead and cheekbones are not protected in any way, and there is a chance to inject the virus just by touching your face and then your lips, for example.
Medical respirators are made of filter material, they fit tightly to the face, covering the chin, mouth and nose. A number of models even have a special inhalation and exhalation filter built in. And, unlike conventional surgical masks, respirators protect the wearer's name. Respirators are able to clean the air that a person breathes from particles of 0.04-1.3 microns. Since the new virus also has particles of 0.08-0.09 microns, medical respirators can, at least minimally, protect you from infection.
Why can't masks provide 100% protection against the virus?
This is due to the fact that, be it a banal flu, SARS or coronavirus, they all have very small particles that can easily penetrate the mucous membrane through the filter layer of the mask. Health expert and science journalist Boris Tsatsulin said in one of his videos that cloth masks not only will not protect you from infection, but can also increase the risk of infection.
Boris: Paper, polyurethane foam masks do not filter out small particles that are responsible for the transmission of infection. And even if you get a respirator, it won't help you much. Such masks do not protect against air droplets, aerosol inhalation, and do not completely cover the nose and mouth. Even respiratory masks are not suitable for children or people with facial hair. It's like a security theater. The virus settles on the skin, mucous membranes, eyes, hair, and ragswhat on the face can save from him? If you wear a mask, the likelihood that you will touch your face, eyes, is higher. Accordingly, you carry a possible infection from your hands.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warns: wearing a medical mask is just one of the preventive measures to limit the spread of certain respiratory diseases, including coronavirus (2019-nCoV) ... However, to provide a sufficient level of protection, some masks will not be enough; other equally important measures must be taken, for example, good hand hygiene.
General rules for the use of medical masks
- the mask should fit snugly to the face;
- during and at the end of using the mask, do not touch its material;
- the optimal time for wearing a mask is 40-60 minutes, then you should change to a new one;
- the used mask must be thrown away, then thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
Medical masks - a new fashion trend?
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, demand for them has increased. Fashionistas around the world did not miss the opportunity to organically fit masks into their image, and design houses made them the main accessory in their shows:
Take care of yourself, try to avoid public places, wash thoroughly wipe your hands and often clean your phone and other equipment.