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Can Wearing a Face Mask Safeguard You from COVID-19?

2021 Oct 1

Isn’t it crazy to think that a virus could disrupt the lives and livelihoods of people worldwide for more than a year? And currently, the situation is getting dangerous around the world, especially considering the different variants and mutations that this virus embodies. 

Even though staying at home is advised, we understand that there are instances where you have to travel outdoors for essential needs and other crucial circumstances that we simply cannot avoid. Ever since the Coronavirus made its way to our country, one of the first health and safety guidelines that was imposed was to wear a mask. While the majority of us blindly followed this guideline, some of us have been irresponsible when it comes to wearing a mask. And many of us didn’t really consider how a face mask can protect us from contracting the virus. 

So, let’s discuss how wearing a face mask can safeguard you from COVID-19.

Does wearing a mask protect the mask wearer and others around them?

When a person talks, coughs, sneezes or even exhales, people around them are exposed to what is in their body through the spread of tiny drops of liquid, called respiratory droplets, and even smaller, drier particles that float in the air. These bigger droplets carry saliva, mucus and other germs, including particles containing the COVID-19 virus, which fall onto surfaces. 

Touching these surfaces and then touching the face or simply inhaling the same air will expose people to these particles that will then enter their bodies through the nose and mouth. Wearing a face mask can reduce the number of particles inhaled through the mouth and nose while helping people to stop touching their faces. Research also shows that masks help prevent germs from getting out into shared spaces, which can help reduce the chances of contracting severe respiratory diseases. Not only this, washing your hands before and after touching your mask is also important in protecting yourself and others from the virus. 

What evidence do we have that shows how effective wearing a mask is in preventing COVID-19?

A study funded by the World Health Organization compared potential COVID-19 infection rates with a mask versus without a mask. The results showed that face masks reduced the chances of infection by more than 80%. When a face mask is worn, the chance of infection was 3.1% compared to 17.4% in situations where a mask is not worn. 

Further, an experiment was conducted using high-speed video, showing that hundreds of droplets ranging from 20 to 500 micrometres were generated when saying a simple phrase. However, nearly all these droplets were blocked when the mouth was covered by a cloth. 

Moreover, research shows that wearing multilayer cloth masks can block up to 50-70% of fine droplets, particles and aerosols that a person exhales. Another study found that above 80% of particles could be blocked by wearers of cloth masks, performing on par with surgical masks.

Even though masks help reduce the risk of transmission significantly, understanding that the majority of the population must be mask wearers to be protected, is important. 

But here’s the question, how do we identify which Facemask brand to trust amongst all the options out in the market? This is where Blueflex could help! Tested and certified by Bureau Veritas, inclusive of the CE certification and National Medicines Regulatory Authority certification, Blueflex provides highly efficient masks. 

Embedded with three layers of protection and non-woven fabric, Blueflex masks have a high-density filter for greater breathability with state-of-the-art Bacterial Filtration Technology used to guarantee extra protection that we all require. 

Their masks are soft, comfortable and don’t irritate your skin, making it easier for you to have your mask on for longer hours. 

How to take care of your mask if it is removed in public?

A study that was conducted looked at Coronavirus deaths across 198 countries and found that countries with cultural norms and government policies that favour wearing masks had significantly lower death rates. 

However, we may come across many instances where we are required to remove our mask while outdoors. Dining out at restaurants and cafes can be an example. In such instances, make sure you have minimum contact with the outer surface area of your mask, as it may be contaminated with germs and bacteria. Removing the mask from the straps will be the safest method of removal. 

Avoid storing your mask inside your purse or pocket, or placing it on a table at a public place. Always remember to sanitise or wash your hands after removing the mask and putting it back on again.  

While knowing the pressing nature of the situation, we still often come across people out and about either neglecting to wear a mask or not wearing a mask the correct way, putting their safety and those around them at risk.

Hence, let us remind you of the time-old saying, “the only way out is through”.  The only way that we will be able to fight this virus, is if we all strive to be responsible citizens and continue to wear our masks everywhere we go. 

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