As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads through countries and communities, there are several questions, theories, and preventative measures circulating as well. Most commonly, people think if they wear a face mask it will protect them from the virus, and this is not true. Many people have been stockpiling face masks, creating shortages and preventing those who need masks from having them available.
Does Wearing A Mask Help?
It depends on who is wearing it! If you have symptoms, the mask is going to keep everyone else around you from being exposed to your germs. If you are healthy, a mask is not enough to protect you from catching the virus.
Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask:
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others
- The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility)
If I Can’t Use a Face Mask, What Can I Do?
There are several everyday preventative actions you can and should take to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent this illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus and to prevent the pathogen from entering your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. The absolute best thing you can do is wash your hands properly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after using public transportation, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing). Hand sanitizer is not a replacement for washing your hands! If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
For more tips and information, you can visit the CDC’s handwashing page.
How O2 Nose Filters Can Help
It is important to make sure you, and people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue (and then dispose of the tissue immediately) when you cough or sneeze. Why? Because the virus is spread through cough and sneeze droplets. As stated above, surgical masks are designed to keep droplets in, not keep them out. They are designed to keep the wearer from getting others around them sick.
A sneeze droplet averages 360 microns in size, and a cough droplet ranges between .69-15.9 microns. O2 Nose Filters use 3M electrostatic technology that effectively blocks 90% of particles over 10 microns and 65% of particles over 2.5 microns.
Stay aware of the latest information and best practices regarding COVID-19 by visiting the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sites. Fact check your information and WASH YOUR HANDS!