Role of face masks in containing coronavirus?

Role of face masks in containing coronavirus?

Corona or in technical terms COVID 19, a disease which started as an unknown disease and now it has killed more than several thousands of people from across the world. It is called a global pandemic and every country is taking huge and powerful actions that can somehow stop this virus from killing more people.

Chinese officials believe that this deadly spread can be stopped by wearing masks, especially while traveling in public areas. The impact of it is that now shops, places where the masks are selling have run out of supplies, making the people suffer and some might have to pay the repercussions of it.

Types of masks

Types of masks

  1. N95 respirator
  2. Surgical masks
  3. Disposable masks

To some, there is still a question that arises,

Can a mask be efficient to protect people from the trap of the corona?

The answer to this is quite believing. The virus that we are here talking about is corona also known as COVID 19. This virus gets transmitted very easily. It started in Wuhan, one of the cities in China and now it has reached in several other countries. The health care workers believe this disease as a pathogen that spread through the air. The germs present in this virus affects people when the droplets present in the air travel to other people making them infected.

The N95 respirator is the mask that people should wear, especially for those people who have to meet affected people to save their lives. Although health interventions don’t recommend wearing it. This mask is known to protect the people by simply not allowing these pathogens to enter from anywhere like the mouth or nose. Statistics say that these masks prevent coronavirus and other harmful pathogens by 95% as per Centre for disease control and prevention. Raina McIntyre from her research at the New South Wales University  (researcher of infectious disease and is currently working on the efficiency of masks to cover the face) has showcased about N95 being purely great for protection.

The difficulty here is that wearing an N95 respirator provides a lot of formalities. These include having to go to a fitness test that happens every once a year. The purpose of this is to be completely positive about the fact that affected air couldn’t come inside or in reach of a person’s breathing. Also, these health care workers have to know how to wear it, which they have to validate. Another problem with these masks is that it is not easy to put it on because it doesn’t allow proper respiration stated by Dr. William Schaffner.

Surgical masks as compared to the above-mentioned type is more comfortable. They are an economical, easily disposable and very thin mask. Unfortunately, they can’t be trusted to make our stay safe from this virus. McIntyre believes that these masks are just a physical barrier that can protect anyone from large and visible droplets/fluids. Further, the face masks fit loosely while worn on the face, making it doubtful in terms of protection from this virus. If sat in the same room as the affected person, the chances of getting infected get reduced if the mask is being worn all the time. The surgical mask provides workers protection at the time of SARS outburst.

Other than surgical masks and N95 respirators, cloth masks are also used in some South Asian countries. It is technically considered harmful as it can be an area used for breeding by pathogens which can happen if washing is not frequent and moisture is not being retained properly.

How to remove the mask/application to remove the mask?

How to remove the mask/application to remove the mask?

There is also a way to remove or get off the mask. Whatever you wear a surgical or N95 make sure you know how to remove it properly. Wrong measures can lead to you ending up in a hospital. According to experts, masks should not be removed by touching the mask from the front. It is said so because the front part carries the deadly germs from which we are trying to hide and if we touch the mask from its front, it can end up in making things worse.

Marybeth Sexton from Emory university thinks that, people who made appointments to see the doctor because of some problem in breathing should wear a mask so that you don’t infect others as well. Also, if you have a habit of touching your face constantly, then it is also best to wear a mask just as a precaution. Because these are some ways from where viruses can enter inside our body. Also, uncomfortable masks can cause more and more touching leading to contamination as said by Clarence tam from Singapore’s National University.

It is also important to note that people who wear masks are a sign of being alert. Countries like the USA are a little less for people to get worried, but if we talk about a place in China where corona spread, then it is for sure important for everyone to wear a mask because it is the epicenter of the epidemic.

Other than relying on these masks one should also keep on washing their hands as often as they can because this is how it is going to make your stay as far as it can. Currently, no permanent solution has been suggested until now. But people who have been affected are kept at a distance where they can’t affect others as well. Unfortunately, doctors can’t save their lives.


Many countries have adopted this method of social distancing followed by the lockdown of a variety of spots that can allow huge gatherings. This method will help you stay closer to near and dear ones.  Therefore, it is requested to follow the rules and know what is best for you. Because now is the time for self-care where you can only protect yourself. Wear a mask and stay hygienic. Wash your hands as more as you can. And most importantly stay positive and sympathize with infected people.

April 25, 2020 Face Mask
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