For now, it may be the mask is as a grocery store or the doctor’s office, but later as social distancing steps slowly ease, we may be able to get a haircut or return to the office as work. The new normal will be changed – seating will be spaced far apart, there will be lots of clear barriers to protect workers, and you will probably be wearing a face mask.
In many places, you are already asked to wear a cloth face covering, & it makes good sense. According to doctors between 25% to 50% of people can be infectious & spread the virus without symptoms. It is easily transmitted by respiratory droplets only by speaking or laughing, on with coughing or sneezing.
Of course, a cloth face mask is not fail-safe protection from COVID-19, but it is much more helpful than no mask. It is another significant layer to physical distancing when used in combination with the 6-foot spacing of others & hand hygiene. We require to save those masks for people on the frontline considering those sick with COVID-19.
How do we choose a cloth face mask?
When it comes to fabric, this tightness of the weave is essential. At a bare minimum, you want the design to be tight enough that you don’t see the side of the individual fibers when you hold the material up to the light. But tighter is better. A study examining the aerosol filtration efficiencies of several different fabrics found that a high-thread-count cotton fabric far exceeded a moderate-thread-count quilter’s cotton for shreds of all sizes.
Multiple layers are prescribed. A well-fitting cloth mask should have at most limited two layers of tightly-woven fabric. A third layer provides extra protection, as does the addition of a filter. At least one study recommends that filters made from polypropylene material, which is obtained from plastic, are particularly effective. While some people are supporting coffee filters for this purpose, this is not something we would advise. As it transforms out, it’s very hard to breathe through a coffee filter.
You need to be ready to breathe comfortably with the mask on so that you do not have to move it off while you’re in public to take a breath. The face mask needs to have a snug fit from nose to below the chin and back towards the ears. It’s useless if there are gaps that allow the air in. There are face masks obtainable that come in different sizes. Also, you don’t want to have to fiddle by the mask, for example, if it’s stiff, and possibly contaminate your fingers touching the outside layer of the mask. If you feel like you can’t breathe easily with your mask, don’t use it, and talk to your doctor regarding other face-covering options.
You need to wash the cloth mask in hot water always after each use, so look for reviews online that comment on the masks wears & tear. If the mask loses shape, you will not be ready to use it. If you are attaching a filter, cleaning it will depend on what brand of filter you use. There are so many filters that should be driven away after each use. Also, the fabric should be pre-washed so that you don’t need to suffer about shrinkage.