The idea that the modern world is safe and protected from large-scale epidemics thanks to new drugs and medical advances has been around for at least 50 years. However, 2019 denied such an attitude and confronted humanity with a pandemic that has been going on for two years.
Its ending is not yet clear and impatience and frustration are slowly growing. COVID 19 (SARS-COV) was first identified in Wuhan, China in 2019, and spread worldwide in 2023. It spared no continent, no race, not even age. Severe forms of the disease took many lives, and a large number of people were left with consequences on the heart, lungs, nervous system…
After disbelief and easy understanding of the problem, humanity was faced with the fact that a pandemic had occurred and that it must act in accordance with this knowledge. Epidemiologists around the world have defined the necessary measures of behavior and disinfection, both of people and objects. One of those measures was that wearing masks is necessary and obligatory for everyone.
Do the masks protect against COVID19?
When it was officially announced that masks were important and necessary, that they were mandatory indoors, and even outdoors, dissenting opinions emerged. Many have wondered if the mask really protects or needs more psychological action.
It is certainly not pleasant to wear, especially longer, so many have avoided wearing it, expressing serious doubts about its effectiveness. Many tests have been performed to determine if masks can protect, which types are best and how to wear them properly. It was stated that masks can really protect and that in combination with other hygienic measures and keeping a distance can prevent illness and fatal outcomes.
There are several ways we can test our mask to determine if it is good enough, and therefore effective in protection.
Water resistance test
Since we know that when a person sneezes, coughs, leaks his nose, and even when he speaks, he expels drops and aerosols from the respiratory organs and thus spreads bacteria and viruses, we must determine how resistant our mask is to water and moisture. Drizzle some water on the outside. If the mask absorbs it, it is not a good mask. This means that it will leak drops and moisture in both directions, so you and the person around you will not be protected.
This is a very popular test, which can really prove the quality of your mask. Depending on how many layers there are, what kind of material is in question, what is the quality of workmanship, you will try it all with a simple candle test. So, if you can extinguish a candle through a mask, when you blow it, it means that it is not of sufficient quality.
Turn the mask towards the light
This test tells about the density of the fibers from which the mask is made and the number of layers. If you can easily see through the mask, it means that the aerosol and drops will easily find their way out of the mask and thus endanger your interlocutors or people in transport, shops, at work. The mask must have a certain density to be a significant protection.
Even the highest quality mask is not a good protection if it is big or small. If you have a lot of space on the side and the mask hangs on your nose, it does not fit enough on your face, it means that you only formally have it, and in fact its function is zero. It is necessary that the mask is fixed to your face, high on the nose, to cover the mouth and chin and to be tight enough.
This checks that you have put on the mask well. Try pushing your finger between your face and the mask, in the area of your cheeks and nose. If you succeed, it means that the mask does not protect you, you did not put it on well. Even a small gap can be risky and allow viruses to enter your respiratory system.
Types of masks
There are several types of masks that have a wide application:
- Surgical mask (medical) is quite effective and if placed correctly it can protect to a great extent. It is factory made, has a high degree of water resistance, but its disadvantage is that it is difficult to install on the face, that there are no gaps. Although there have been some doubts, it has been shown not to increase carbon dioxide levels during your inhalation.
- K95 is an internationally standardized epidemiological mask that is much more effective than surgery, in every respect. It is made of a special material, with several layers, and is anatomically better constructed and adapted to the face, so that it protects better.
- N95 is also a specialized epidemiological mask, similar to K95. How N95 and K95 look like, you can check at this website. N95 has shown excellent results in protection against viruses and bacteria. It also has three layers of special material, through which breathing is facilitated, but they have a significant density and prevent the absorption of moisture and the ejection of droplets and aerosols.
- Textile masks – since the pandemic has been going on for two years, the economic crisis has also occurred, so many people have been affected by it. The daily purchase of masks, disinfectants, supplements has led to the fact that people began to manage and sew masks themselves. The fashion of making and wearing masks in various colors, from various materials, in accordance with the wardrobe and the occasion, has even taken hold. These masks, although they look interesting and reflect creativity and savings, still do not provide enough protection. They are often of inadequate size, made of thin fabric, of inappropriate shape. That is why it is desirable to avoid them and get them in pharmacies.
Additional ways of protection
We must note that the mask is only one aspect of protection, both from COVID 19, and from the flu virus and various other respiratory infections. It is necessary to wash your hands often, disinfect them and personal belongings (mobile phones, glasses, keys, wallets …) with alcohol, then keep your distance and avoid shaking hands and approaching people, just in case. It seems difficult and restrictive, but it is necessary in a pandemic situation.
Masks have been proven to protect against COVID 19 and there should be no doubt about that. You should wear quality, certified masks, bought in pharmacies and produced regularly. Both putting on and taking off the masks must be done carefully and the masks must never be left and thrown away. In addition to polluting and polluting the environment, it is a sure way to further spread the virus. It is certainly in the interest of all mankind that the pandemic ends as soon as possible, for health (in the first place), as well as economic, psychological and many other reasons. Therefore, responsible behavior, towards oneself and others, leads to the end of the infection and a return to a normal life, which we all long for.