With the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, people are clamoring for surgical masks, hand sanitizers, and toilet paper. The severity of this disease has caused a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment, or better known as PPE, especially gloves, full body suits, and surgical masks.
The CDC has recommended cloth masks when medical grade supplies are depleted. And it suggests that in the absence of any type of mask, bandanas and even scarves should be used. In New York Hospitals where the numbers are as high as 25,000 infected, a brigade of seamstresses has been called to make masks for health workers as the state has a severe Personal Protective Equipment crisis.
Professor Yusa shared an article by a Taiwanese doctor about making cloth masks that are washable and reusable, and I was very intrigued.
In the article, Dr. Chen Guanting, in response to the increase in mask purchases caused by infectious pneumonia Coronavirus, and skepticism regarding cloth masks, indicated that for healthy people in general who need to enter and leave places Overcrowded, a cloth mask is sufficient as a form of general protection, provided there is a non-woven layer inside the mask. The nonwoven layer acts as a filter.
Dr. Chen Guanting added: "The virus remains in the environment with oral foam for several days, so "frequent hand washing is more important than wearing a mask."
It is very important to understand what a cloth mask can and cannot do for you.
While cloth masks will not offer the full protection of a surgical mask, regular cloth masks (referred to as those without a filter) have been shown to be capable of capturing at least 50% of the 0.02 micron MS2 Bacteriophage particles. (5 times smaller than the coronavirus).
Wear a surgical mask for better protection when:
- You are sick and you have to be around other people
- You're healthy and you're heading to a crowded, high-risk area or a place with sick people.
As part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other countries have encouraged the use of universal masks (that is, not just for the sick). The Czech Republic has also followed suit, in the words of the Mayor of Prague: "Whether you have medical masks, self-made masks, or wear a scarf, anything is better than nothing."
Cloth masks should be washed and used carefully as you would with a surgical mask:
It is of utmost importance to know how to handle your new cloth mask.How to put on, wear, take off a mask?
- Wash and dry your hands before putting on and taking off the mask.
- Take care not to contaminate the inside of the mask, i.e. do not pull the mask down so that it rests on the chin.
- Practice good hand hygiene to the best of your ability!
- Any type of mask (N95, surgical, fabric) should not be worn for a long time. When it gets wet, you need to replace it. So if you sweat a lot, have replacement masks.
Dr. Chen recommends the following:
- Wash cloth masks daily
- Do not wear masks if you have respiratory illnesses.
- Save surgical masks (Referring to N95 masks) for medical professionals who are on the front line of medical care and use them only when needed.
- Frequent hand washing: more important than wearing a mask.
Finally, Dr. Chen Guanting also asked for:
"Wearing a mask simply prevents the foam from the other person's mouth from meeting the foam from their mouth. The virus is minimal in the air. If there are no respiratory symptoms or fever," a cloth mask is enough! Leave the medical masks to the medical workers!
In short, cloth masks are useful in protecting us against the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and even more so if they have a filter. We must be responsible and aware of how and when we use our reusable masks and to the extent that we can leave the N95 medical masks and the Personal Protective Equipment or PPE to the health professionals who continue to risk their lives to eradicate this pandemic. . And in Dr. Chen's words "Protecting medical personnel is protecting yourself!"
Let us know in the comments what you think about cloth masks.
You can buy your own mask in our store.