The most redundant yet common question, do face masks reduce the transmission of the coronavirus that causes the (SARS-CoV-2)? YES! They do, Face Masks in conjunction with other preventive measures like vaccinations, proper sanitization, and physical separation could limit the spread of the virus. People who are not vaccinated or immunized should always wear masks. Especially in a public place where there is a high risk of COVID-19 transmissions. The WHO (World Health Organization) and other national agencies advise medical masks for health care professionals and as well as anybody who has or may have COVID-19 or is caring for someone who has or may have COVID-19. It is also mandatory to test for people coming to the UK from another country. Only people from green and amber list nations are allowed. And they can take a test from any Government list of approved 2 & 8 providers

Different types of Masks and how they work:

Medical Masks:

These are the most common masks as well as the very first to be used in almost all pandemics in recent history. Also called surgical masks, they are cheap and available in abundance. You can buy them in any medical store. They’re designed to keep the user safe from germ-infested drips and sprays. When the wearer breathes in, the medical mask filters out big particles in the air. To use them properly, knot around the ear lopes properly and covering the nose, and don’t wear a loose one.  And as we said earlier that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, test yourself regularly for covid. You can easily order a test from the Government list of approved 2 & 8 providers and the test kit will arrive in a day or two. It is a simple test where you can easily collect the sample with a swab. 

Cloth Mask:

Cloth masks are the most common masks used predominantly by the public. These are simple fabrics. A fabric mask is designed to catch respiratory droplets emitted from the wearer when he or she coughs, sneezes, talks, etc. It acts as a barrier too, preventing the wearer from inhaling droplets emitted by others in the same vicinity. But wear tight and effective ones, the most effective ones are made with multiple layers, multiple layers of tightly-woven fabric like cotton. So, a mask with more layers will prevent even smaller droplets. Tests have shown that these masks are not effective against coronavirus.  

N-95 Masks:

N-95 MASKS are one of the safest masks. It is capable of filtering out both big, small and tiny particles when the wearer inhales it. It provides more protection as compared to a cloth mask. In many regions and places, they are in short supply and thus reserved for only medical and health practitioners. Some N – 95 mask, as well as other cloth masks, contains a valve that makes breathing easier for the wearer. Unfortunately, these masks do not filter the air that the wearer exhales. As a result, they’ve been prohibited in certain areas. Governments all across the world made it mandatory for people to wear masks and take tests. The more testing they did, the better control they had. In the UK one has to order a test from the Government list of approved 2 & 8 providers before entering the country. 

N95 masks work on three types of principles. Inertial impact in which an aerosol or dust particle of 1 micron or more in size with sufficient inertia. When these particles fall on the mask material, they get filtered with the help of its filtration layer. Diffusion principle. This principle is mainly used for those particles whose size is greater than 0.1 µm and less than 1 µm. Through this principle, those particles are also filtered which have less inertia (inertia). The third is the electrostatic Attraction technique.  This is the principal mechanism by which electrocharged polymers or resin fibres trap smaller and larger particles by making them oppositely charged. After which we get clean air through the filter. Tests have shown that these types of masks are the best. They are highly recommended by experts.

How to make the most from your mask:

Now that you have known the types of masks let’s see how to use them effectively. Their effectiveness depends on the wearer and the type of material.  Cloth and medical mask’s efficacy can be increased by ensuring that the masks are well fitted to the contours of the face, and avoids air leakage around the corner of the mask. Masks should fit snugly over the nose and mouth, leaving no gaps. When you breathe out, you should feel warm air coming through the front of the mask and no air flowing out from under the mask’s edges.  You can easily buy such types of masks from pharmacies in Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, and Luton. They sell such masks at the Heathrow airport too. 

Some simple steps to follow

Let us discuss some simple steps you should follow while using your mask. Testings and researches have clearly proved that wearing the mask in the right way is necessary. Wash or sanitize your hands before and after putting on your mask. Tie it behind your head or use ear loops. Make sure it’s snug. Don’t touch your mask while wearing it. Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask. Regularly washcloth masks in the washing machine or by hand. (You can wash them with your regular laundry.) If your mask becomes wet or dirty, switch to a clean one. Put the used mask in a sealable bag until you can get rid of it or wash it. Don’t put masks on anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious. It could be otherwise unable to remove the mask without help. Don’t put masks on children under 2 years of age.

What about Face shields?

 It is not much recommended to use face shields instead of the mask since it is unknown how much protection the shield gives and after all if you can still breath and exhale open then it’s of no use however there are few places where you cannot wear a face mask so use them properly and sanitize them well. It’s ok not to wear a mask except where required by a rule of law. You’re considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after you get a second dose of the vaccination you took. So, wear a mask where it is law or in regulation, in a public place or transportation. They protect others as well as you too.