Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

Masks and Covid-19

There has been a lot of information flying around about if the general public needs to wear masks, and if so what type of mask is needed.  Do I need an N-95 type mask, surgical mask, or is a Home Made mask adequate for me?

First, the Corona Covid-19 virus is amazingly small.  An N-95 Mask is able to filter the air to block the virus in the surface layers of the mask, providing that the mask is properly fit and does not have air leakage around the sides of the mask.  If you are a man with a beard, an N-95 mask will not work, as air will flow in around the sides of the mask.  If the mask is not properly fitting your face, air will seep in around the sides, so again the mask will not work.

So, if you do not know how to properly wear an n-95 mask, it will not be 100% effective.  If you do use the mask and have a good fit, you must know how to take off the mask without cross contamination, where you transfer possible viruses from the face of the mask onto your hands or other parts of your body during the removal of the mask, and thus exposing you to virus contamination, even though the mask was properly fit and working.

Well what about those surgical masks?  A surgical mask is not an N-95 mask.  It is a little over 95% effective, but will not filter out 100% of something as small as a virus.  But, why are these used in hospital surgery rooms and not N-95 masks?  The main reason to wear the surgical mask is not for the protection of the staff and doctors in the surgery room.  It is for the protection of the patient who is being operated on.  These masks are very effective at helping to contain the contaminates in the staffs breath, so they do not accidentally spread germs to the patient while the talk, cough, sneeze, and just breath around the patient.

Home make masks are about 60-75% effective in filtering the air that we are breathing in.  Obviously, this does not protect the wearer as much from external sources (other people) who may have a virus.  But, a home made mask if much more effective in containing anything we have, from being spread into the air while we talk, cough, sneeze and yes breath around other people.

So if during an outbreak such as we are experiencing now, all of us wear a Home made, or other tight knit cotton fabric mask of some type, we can all help protect everyone else, as many times, we can spread a virus, we do not know we have.  So when you see someone wearing a mask, you know that you are safer being around that person.  Still keep a safe distance as much as possible.  Then once the last person who has contacted the disease has recovered, there will be no more live virus’s to be spread.  As there is yet no vaccine, this is the only way we can get rid of this disease.  So, by everyone working together and all of us taking actions to help protect each other, we can do what modern medicine is not yet able to do.

I’m doing my part.  I’m wearing a double layer cotton home made mask when in any public space, such as the grocery store, just in case I have been exposed and do not know it, to make sure I do not spread the virus.  I would really appreciate if you would do the same.

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April 6, 2020 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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