The Importance of Face Masks to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Since February of 2020, the Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our country and almost brought our economy to a standstill. Millions of people have self-quarantined inside their homes and changed their daily routines dramatically. What they used to take for granted, such as walking into a grocery store, now requires the usage of a face mask—and an overabundance of caution.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has officially recommended that in addition to maintaining a 6’ distance from other people, Americans should wear a cloth face mask whenever they go out in public. We’re going to look at the importance of face masks, and what measures you can take to help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.
Cloth Masks vs. N-95 Respirators
An N-95 respirator is a small mask that covers both your nose and your mouth. It forms a tight seal, thereby forcing all air you breathe in and exhale to travel through the fine fibers of the mask. It helps filter around 95% of the airborne particles. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, you’d often see construction workers wearing them on the job site.
A cloth mask, on the other hand, doesn’t provide the wearer with an air-tight seal around the nose and mouth. It still allows for the breathing of outside air without a superior filtration system, as the N-95 masks offer.
So why is the CDC recommending that people do NOT wear an N-95 respirator and instead only wear a cloth mask?
Well, for starters, it’s impossible to find an N-95 respirator anywhere—be it online, at Home Depot, Lowes, or even the local mom-and-pop hardware store. The main reason that the CDC has this guideline in place is that there is a minimal supply of the masks in America, and they’re reserved for doctors, first responders, and other medical professionals that deal with the public daily.
So why wear a cloth mask if it offers less protection than a respirator?
The Value of a Cloth Mask
The main reason why the CDC wants people to wear cloth masks is that it’s for the protection of other people. When you exhale air, talk to someone, or sneeze, little microscopic airborne particles immediately leave your nose and mouth and can travel up to 6’ away. These airborne particles can contain the Coronavirus—which can essentially “hang” in the air for hours on end due to how small it is.
“But I’m not sick—I haven’t had a cough or any of the symptoms reported in the newspapers. Why should I wear a mask if I’m feeling A-OK?”
While researchers are still trying to determine an accurate number, many studies are now focusing on individual cases. For example, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) reported that more than ½ of the residents in a Seattle-area nursing home had zero symptoms before they tested positive for COVID-19.
This means that many people in American who have the Coronavirus might not even know it because they did not experience any of the usual symptoms such as a dry cough, pink eye, or shortness of breath.
Until every single American can easily get tested, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is why a cloth face mask is so important—it helps prevent the spread of the disease.
Homemade Cloth Masks vs. Professional Cloth Masks
There are many DIY homemade cloth face mask instructions on the internet. While this does offer some protection, keep in mind that the Mayo Clinic has recommended that “Cloth masks should include multiple layers of fabric.”
This presents a challenge for many people who don’t have sewing skills and are trying to make a rag-tag cloth mask to help prevent them from catching this potentially deadly disease.
Professional cloth face masks often have multiple layers of fabric, such as 3-ply. Some of them come with additional safety measures, such as being made out of 25g BFE95 Filtration Material and are FDA Registered.
Do Cloth Masks Offer ANY Protection at All?
There’s no way of telling if they do or they don’t. Even if you had an N-95 respirator, you could accidentally brush your hand against the mask without thinking about it, thereby breaking the seal and allowing the outside air to come in.
Common sense would suggest that at least some protection is better than none. This means that with a professional face mask, there is a physical barrier that forces some of the air you breathe to go through it.
Recent news reports are also suggesting that “COVID-19 Season” may be an annually recurring event for many years to come. This is why it’s essential to wear a mask when going out in public. You never know who is or isn’t infected, and it’s better to play it safe than be sorry.
Covid-19 Face Masks In-Stock
At ReOpenSupplies.com, we have 3-ply disposable cloth face masks in stock. This is an FDA-registered product and imported directly from the manufacturer. We’ve carefully vetted our source and trust all elements of their production.
While there’s no telling how long this pandemic will continue, it’s best to engage in sanitation and social distancing practices that will help prevent the spread of this contagious disease.