Public health organizations such as CDC and WHO vehemently recommend the usage of face masks in order to control the spread of the deadly virus. Initially when the virus hit the US people started buying respirator masks frantically. However, with more research and information on the virus revealed that any type of face covering shall help prevent one from catching the virus. CDC further endorsed this assertion by asking general public to wear cloth masks to protect against the virus. Homemade cotton cloth face masks are very handy, for instance. They are convenient to obtain as well as very much wearable. You can easily wash and reuse these masks. In case of emergency you can even use a bandana or a handkerchief as a mask. Many fashion vloggers and designers came up with tutorials teaching general public as how to make a face mask out of old t-shirt.
Apart from these casual masks, the more specialized masks are available in the market. These include surgical masks. These disposable face masks are generally used by medical professionals when they are at hospitals. These masks filter out as much as 60% of particles giving protection to the wearer.
The most effective and highly specialized category of face masks is that of respirators such as n95 masks. They filter out 95% of airborne particles making the air considerably safe for the wearer to breathe. However, given the gravity of covid situation, CDC has recommended these masks to be worn by health care professionals and those fighting the pandemic from the front as they are critical supplies.
Through research and investigation, it has been discovered that the virus spreads through infected droplets that are emitted as one who is suffering from the virus speaks, sings, coughs or sneezes. Exposure to these infected droplets can be significantly reduced if everyone covers their faces with masks. One thing that must be taken care of is that the mask must cover nose and mouth completely. Otherwise it would be futile to wear the mask.
Given the novelty factor of the disease there is much more research work required to be done. However, as real life data is being gathered scientists are better able to understand the virus. This is one of the reasons why wearing masks is so stressed by health authorities as sufficient evidence supports the utility of masks. The countries that made it mandatory to wear face masks reported significantly lower death than those who adopted a rather lenient policy. Another very important case study involves the two hair dressers in Missouri who were covid positive. However, as all of the clients and the stylists themselves wore masks none of the clients got infected.
Nevertheless, it is very important to note that masks alone cannot be relied upon to contain the virus. Regular hand washing is a must to prevent the disease. Especially wash your hands when they get in contact with surfaces that could possibly be contaminated. On occasions such as before having meals, coming back to home from outside or using the toilet thorough hand wash with soap and water is a must. In case soap and water is not available if you are out somewhere, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands.
Apart from this, maintaining a social distance of at least six feet wherever possible is also very important to control the spread of virus. Some studies indicate that infected droplets can also be absorbed through eyes. Therefore, it is best to maintain social distance wherever possible.