How do face masks work

How do face masks work?

Face masks and face coverings work by reducing the amount of fluid expelled in the air when caused by a sneeze, cough, or a running nose. These masks slow down the spreading of viral viruses to people within close contact with one another.

Scientists and medical advisors back up the wearing of masks in relation to stopping the escalation of viral diseases, especially with the Covid-19 global situation, according to relevant data from around the world.

There is a whole debate on the efficacity of wearing facial coverings. Regardless of differences in opinion, the facts speak for themselves: wherever people adhered to wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, and a thorough cleansing process, there was a reduction in the numbers of people being infected by the new Covid-19. If a high number of the population wear protective face masks, infected asymptomatic people will not spread the virus to others.

Wearing a face mask to stop Covid-19

Will wearing a face mask stop someone from getting COVID-19?

As much as we would like to believe that the masks will guard us against this new type of virus, there is no guarantee that this will happen. Wearing a mask only can not prevent people from being affected by this virus, these steps should also be taken into account:

  • Washing the hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds
  • Using a hand sanitizer with alcohol whenever washing is not possible
  • Maintaining a safe distance from others
  • Avoiding busy places/spaces
  • Avoiding close contact with people from other households
  • Refraining from touching eyes, mouth, and nose before a thorough washing
Wearing a face mask outdoors

People experiencing Covid symptoms like a persistent dry cough, fever, loss of smell and taste, should refrain from meeting other persons. Self isolation plays a crucial part in preventing the rapid spread of this virus to the more vulnerable population.

Some people tend to use face masks excessively. For example, on TV you often can spot reporters being outdoors away from busy streets and cities, at a safe distance from anyone else, and still wear a face mask. This makes the communication harder and it might look silly. The reason behind this could be the pressure to make the public realize the importance of wearing a mask everywhere.

Whilst demonstrating to people the need of wearing a mask is acceptable, some users end up looking a bit over the top when walking alone outdoors, wearing a mask although in a safe distance of more than 3 meters from other people. The most comical face mask wearing tactic is by far the one whe a single driver passes by wearing a mask although being isolated in a car on their own.

Face mask protection efficiency

The face masks’ ability to offer protection depends on the way they have been designed and the type of material used.

Surgical, disposable masks are said to be more effective against the humidity caused by expelled droplets. These, together with the K95 masks were proved to reduce the outpouring of particles by nearly 90%, in relation to not wearing a mask at all – based on scientific research.

Cloth masks have a lower capacity of filtration, thus increasing the chances of spreading disease. However, they too proved to be efficient if made of three different layers, worn correctly, and washed after each use with soap and warm water.

In certain places like clinics, medical centers, beauticians, some schools, workers are advised to wear a plastic shield/visor over the disposable mask. This is because their work requires extra protection from any fluids that they might get in contact with from patients, customers, or students.

Wearing a visor and a face mask might well be the best way to protect others and the wearer. 

Wearing a face mask and visor

Where to buy face masks

Face masks are now easy to find anywhere; in various sizes, shapes and patterns, with different levels of protection and pricing variations:

  • At the local chemist
  • Pharmaceutical outlets
  • Supermarkets
  • Beauty shops
  • Fashion shops
  • Malls
  • Corner shops
  • Petrol stations
  • Online shops (eBay. Amazon, Etsy)
  • Directly from manufacturers
  • Members of public
Woman wearing a face mask

With so many items to choose from, no wonder sometimes people get confused by it all. The greatest the offer, the hardest is the choice.

When looking for a new protective mask remember that face masks should make the wearer feel comfortable during the day whilst being secure and fit for the purpose. If opting for a fashion mask, check that it offers the protection you need. Otherwise, you will certainly have to add another layer under the fashion item for protection purposes.