Does it matter what kind of mask you wear?
Yes. Different types of masks offer various levels of protection. N95 respirators offer the greatest level of protection against Covid-19 infection, followed by surgical grade masks. However, those masks are costly, in limited supply, contribute to landfill waste & are uncomfortable to wear for long periods. So yet countries that have required the public to wear face masks have frequently suggested such masks should be kept for health workers or those at, particularly big risk.
How well do cloth masks work?
Without masks, people sick by the new coronavirus can possibly spread the germs too without coughing or sneezing. Just breathing can send any viruses into the air, data show. But fabric masks sway capture some of that.
An international research group headed by a team studied 246 people sick among viral infections. Some had coronaviruses (which cause the typical cold). Others had rhinoviruses (which also induce the common cold) or disease viruses. A few were affected by at least two distinct types of viruses.
How do you take them on and off safely?
Before putting on a mask, clean your hands well including soap & water. Cover the mouth & nose with your mask plus make sure there are no gaps within your face and the mask. Avoid touching the mask while using it also, if you do, wash your hands. Replace the mask when it is wet. To remove your mask, take it off doing the elastic tags, without touching the front and discard quickly into a closed bin or, if the mask is reusable, straight into the washing machine.
Is there an environmental concern?
Many commercially available masks are created from layers of plastics & are designed to be single-use. According to an investigation by scientists at University College London, if every person used one single-use mask every day for a year, an extra 66,000 tonnes of polluted plastic waste would be created. The use of reusable masks by the global population would significantly reduce plastic waste including the climate change impact of any policy claims for the wearing of face masks. They say that according to the most reliable evidence, reusable masks perform most of the tasks of single-use masks out the associated waste stream.