Now that we are experiencing a pandemic and are asked to wear face masks, some people can’t help but wonder whether face masks can effectively curb the transmission of Covid-19. Since the virus that causes Covid-19 is new, and thus we know very little about it at the moment, some people speculate about the efficiency of face masks in protecting us against Covid-19.
The Straight Answer
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is a new virus and needs to be further studied so that specialists will know more about it. Although there’s still more to be learned about the virus, one thing that specialists are sure about is that it spreads through respiratory droplets. That’s why, yes, wearing face masks is vital in curbing the transmission of the virus and in protecting ourselves and others.
Respiratory droplets are propelled into the air when sneezing, coughing, singing, shouting, and talking. Then you and other people can breathe in these respiratory droplets in the air through the nose or mouth.
What If I Don’t Feel Sick?
According to the CDC, individuals who have Covid-19 but are asymptomatic and yet to show symptoms can transmit the virus to other people. That’s why even if you feel fine, it’s better to continue wearing a face mask not only to protect yourself but to protect others from you, too.
If you don’t feel sick and are about to go to work or run some errands, you should wear a face mask, especially when your destination is indoors. Indoor areas with poor ventilation are places where it’s highly likely that a viral transmission will take place.
How to Ensure You’re Wearing Your Mask Properly
Wearing a face mask, especially when you’re indoors with other people not from your household and when social distancing is impossible, is not enough. For the face mask to do its job, you must ensure that you’re wearing it properly.
When wearing a mask, make sure that the mask fits the contours of your face so that the air you exhale does not leak around openings on the edges. Ensure that the face mask is snug against the outline around your nose, around your mouth, and under your chin. It’s also better if your face mask has a bendable nose strip.
Exemptions to the Rule
Although wearing face masks is one of the essential health requirements today, medical specialists recognize that there are exemptions to the rule. The following individuals are exempted from wearing face masks:
- Children below the age of two years
- Persons with disabilities who can’t wear masks for reasons linked to their disability
- People in workplaces in which wearing a mask may pose workplace health, safety, or job duty risk
Recommended Types of Face Masks
Since the advent of the pandemic, most people have been creative in finding materials that can work as face coverings. However, to ensure the safety of everyone and to prevent further transmission of the virus, there are generally three types of masks recommended for sure protection.
N95 masks should fit the contour of the wearer’s face. They’re able to filter large and small particles every time the one wearing the mask inhales. As a result, they offer more protection than medical/surgical masks.
Surgical masks protect the wearer from contact with respiratory droplets. They filter large particles when the wearer inhales. Compared to N95 masks, they are looser around the face.
Cloth masks that ensure protection from inhaling particles and spreading respiratory droplets are those that are multilayered. They should be made from tightly woven fabrics.
Face masks are proven to protect us from respiratory droplets and from spreading the virus, compared to if we’re not wearing one at all. One reason that people should wear face masks is that it shows that we are considerate of others. The more we try to protect others, the more we end up protecting ourselves, too.
Do you want to learn more about how to keep your workplace safe? Well Health Works is dedicated to providing corporate wellness programs. Call us now at 833-935-9355 so that we can start working together in making your workplace safer and healthier.