At this point we know that wearing a face mask is a crucial way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, a valve mask is not an ideal choice, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last week.
The new coronavirus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets, SELF previously explained. People with COVID-19 infection spread these droplets, which may contain the virus, when they cough, sneeze, talk, etc. The droplets containing the virus can then land in someone else’s mouth, nose or eyes and become infected further She. However, wearing a mask can trap these droplets and prevent them from infecting others.
Since it is possible to spread the new coronavirus without symptoms and therefore not necessarily knowing you have the virus, it is important that everyone in public wears a mask, especially in situations where social distancing is difficult to maintain . However, a mask is not always the most comfortable clothing for long periods of time, in hot weather or during sports. So it makes sense for people to want to wear masks that cover their nose and mouth, but also have something like an exhalation valve that makes breathing easier.
The problem with these masks, according to the CDC, is that they don̵
If you mainly wear a mask with a valve or an exhalation vent, the CDC recommends using a different type of mask instead. The CDC also does not recommend the public wear N95 medical masks or surgical masks, which should currently be reserved for medical professionals.
If you can’t wear your usual mask with a valve or vent, and medical options are likely to be banned, check out the many reusable cloth masks available now. In general, masks made from multiple layers of material that fit snugly (but comfortably) on the face are the most effective options. A recent study found that masks made from multiple layers of cotton and / or polypropylene, a type of plastic fabric, were the most effective options after N95 masks and surgical masks.
But again, don’t underestimate the importance of wearing the mask properly – sitting right over your nose and mouth – when thinking about its effectiveness. It can be helpful to order a few different types of masks that you can try at home. Leave them on for at least 30 minutes to find out which ones are most comfortable on your face, experts previously told SELF. For example, some people prefer masks with ear loops, while others prefer those with straps that go around the back of the head. Once you have the mask on and secured, do your best not to touch it while you are outside and wash your hands before putting on and before and after removing it.
Of course, any mask you wear is no excuse for ditching other public health measures like social distancing and frequent hand washing. All of these strategies are most effective in preventing the new coronavirus from spreading when used together.