Disclaimer: This is not a medical article. For more information, kindly check with JKJAV or contact a doctor for medical purposes.
Wearing a face mask has become compulsory for each of us in this pandemic, as Covid-19 viruses can spread through airborne transmission. Individuals who do not wear face masks in public spaces will be fined RM1000 (USD 242) or put in jail. In addition, e-commerce such as Shopee and Lazada has made it accessible for all of us to purchase face masks. However, you will still notice the people around you wearing the face masks incorrectly and unsafely. This article will guide you on choosing and wearing your face mask properly.
Types of face mask in the market:
- Surgical mask
- N95 and NK 95
- Cloth mask
The abovementioned facemasks are widely available on e-commerce platforms and the nearest convenience store around your house. However, not all kinds of face masks can protect you from Covid-19.
What kind of mask should I wear?
The University of California has conducted a study and found that wearing a three-layer mask is more effective against Coronavirus. In addition, wearing three-layer surgery can stop large droplets and from a sneeze and cough. A surgical mask is made to prevent droplets and aerosols that contain viruses and bacteria. It also provides an adequate amount of filtration to protect you and the people around you. For effectiveness, it works better when everyone wears a surgical mask to prevent droplets and aerosols. Therefore, if you are still wearing a single or two-layer surgical mask, you may need to consider upgrading it to three layers.
N95 and NK95
Among all of the available masks worldwide, N95 and NK95 face respirators provide the most protection against Covid-19. It is designed to be used in an industrial and medical environment. However, it is advised to prioritise front-liners, especially medical providers, to wear them as N95 and NK95 face respirators are always in short supply.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Both N95 and NK95 are tested to filter out 95% airborne particles. One of the differences between N95 and NK95 is that both face masks are produced in different country. N95 is made in America and approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). NK95, on the other hand, is produced in China and designed to provide a filter performance that is to equal or more than 95% of efficiency. However, NK95 is not approved by NIOSH. To ensure you get a good quality NK95, you will need to wear a properly fitted and sealed one.
If you are interested in finding out more about N95 and NK95 respirators, you may check out this informative video that Ally Safety produces.
A cloth mask, also known as a fabric mask, is not recommended and suitable for individuals above 60 and individuals with underlying medical conditions. If you wear a fabric face mask, make sure it has three layers; an outer layer, an inner layer and a middle layer for you to insert the filter. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends wearing a bright colour cloth mask, such as white colour; you will be able to determine if your face mask is wet or soiled. Moreover, the material of the face mask should be hydrophilic, which is a cotton fabric mask.
If you don’t feel safe wearing a fabric face mask and don’t want to waste it, do stroll down as we will teach you double masking.
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Nisham Abdullah has recently urged the public to double mask. Although double masking is not compulsory at the moment, it can reduce exposure to Covid-19.
Here are some of the ways of double masking:
BFM 89.9 radio station also produced a video on guiding double masking.
Bear in mind that wearing a face mask is not enough to against Coronavirus. However, it does protect one and another when they wear face masks as well.
There are also other ways that you need to remember along with wearing a face mask:
- Wash your hands after being in public or touching any object.
- Use hand sanitiser. Opt for a non-alcohol hand sanitiser; if you have hand eczema, you may purchase yours at QuantumG.
- Practice social distancing in public and avoid being in crowded space.
- Quarantine and get tested. If you do not feel well in the past few days, make sure you quarantine yourself and get tested as soon as possible.
Being stuck in a pandemic is challenging for everyone; we need to ensure we are doing our roles to help each other. We hope this article gives you better insight and information on taking care of yourself and the people around you. Stay safe, and we can do it!