There is no short answer to this question. So do bear with us as we review in what circumstances a face mask is effective and when it might just pile on issues.
Are Face Masks Effective?
The World Health Organization (WHO) currently says only two groups of people should wear protective masks, those who are:
- sick and showing symptoms
- caring for people suspected to have the coronavirus
Face Masks are not recommended for others because:
- they can be contaminated by other people’s coughs and sneezes or when putting them on or removing them
- frequent hand-washing and social distancing are more effective
- they might offer a false sense of security
All in all face masks, gloves and other forms of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) used in the right circumstances can be very effective at stopping or slowing the spread of the Coronavirus Covid19. However, these need to be changed regularly, repeat use of such equipment will have the reverse effect and might end up as contaminated items, therefore increasing the wearers possibility of becoming infected.
Homemade Face Masks
These are not advised as they offer limited protection, the virus will penetrate normal cloth and just like above, repeated use might increase the chance of infection as they become contaminated. As pretty as handmade masks may look, Face Masks like the heroes at the NHS use have to pass stringent safety requirements.
How is Coronavirus Spread?
The virus is spread by droplets in the air or from contaminated surfaces. The government and WHOs advice is to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitiser where soap and water are not available and to practice social distancing. These actions are what will stop and slow the spread of the virus, far more than wearing a face mask to the shops.
We hope this article has helped to clear up when you should use a face mask.
Until next time… stay safe, stay home!