When the news first started reporting on the COVID-19 outbreak in China, few people thought it would significantly disrupt our way of life for months on end. Yet that is the situation we find ourselves in now. Even as many states have loosened lockdown measures, COVID-19 cases are accelerating across the country.
While there continues to be much debate over certain elements of COVID-19, one thing remains clear: slowing the spread of this deadly pandemic is dependent on the everyday efforts each person makes on an individual level.
Practicing social distancing and good hygiene are big parts of this. When you wear a face mask in public, you can make a significant difference in protecting yourself and those around you. Just like wearing a seatbelt when driving, this should be a common sense practice that will help everyone get through these times.
Why Wear a Mask?
As the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved, there has been lingering confusion regarding what masks do and what their purpose is. After all, the CDC initially recommended that people avoid wearing masks. As more information has become available, however, the CDC now strongly recommends that most people wear some type of face covering whenever they are in public.
The primary reasoning for wearing a face mask in public isn’t to keep you from getting sick — it’s to protect others. Some studies have estimated that as many as 80 percent of people infected with COVID-19 are either asymptomatic or experience only mild symptoms.
While this has led many people to believe that the virus is completely harmless, this is quite simply not true. The global death toll has surpassed 500,000, proving that many people are quite susceptible to the disease.
Because of this, the primary goal of wearing a mask in public is to ensure that if you are asymptomatic, you will be less likely to spread the virus to others. You might not be in a high-risk group, but others you encounter during your day to day routine might be. The minor inconvenience of wearing a mask could make all the difference.
With that being said, the CDC still does not recommend face masks for children under the age of two or people with breathing problems. Still, social distancing should be practiced whenever reasonably possible. Everyone should take additional precautionary steps, such as washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding touching their face. Avoid crowded areas where social distancing won’t be possible.
How Do Face Masks Work?
So how do face masks reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19? As the CDC explains, “Face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. […] COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”
You aren’t going to get sick from your own germs that are already inside your body. However, if COVID-19 or other illness-spreading viruses or germs are present in your system, they can easily spread to others nearby.
A recent study from the World Health Organization (WHO) found that wearing a face mask in public can reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 by as much as 80 percent. While this isn’t a foolproof preventative method, it clearly reduces risk, especially when paired with social distancing and other preventative practices.
Of course, medical professionals and others have long used N95 masks because of the additional protection they offer against other airborne contaminants. N95 is actually a rating that indicates that the mask filters out 95 percent or more of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. This includes viruses such as COVID-19.
Wearing such a mask will offer greater protection than a cloth face covering. In fact, the WHO study found that N95 masks were 96 percent effective at protecting workers from COVID-19 in high-risk medical care settings. Even non-N95 masks were 77 percent effective in these scenarios.
Clearly, if masks are so effective in environments where there is close interaction with confirmed COVID-19 patients, they can be even more effective for everyday needs. Your trip to the grocery store or library will be safer for yourself and others if you wear a mask.
Slowing the Spread
N95 masks are far from the only available option to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Here at Help Medical Supplies, we understand how important it is to protect yourself against this pandemic. In addition to selling N95 masks, we are also currently selling Nitril Exam Gloves and antibacterial soap to help you avoid keep your hands clean.
We understand that these can be stressful times for those with sleep apnea and other breathing disorders. We continue to sell CPAP machines and their related accessories at affordable prices and are shipping orders out as fast as we can to ensure that you don’t have to wait for needed medical supplies.
Taking precautions doesn’t mean you’re living in fear. It means you are taking common sense action to protect yourself and others. Order a personal protection kit today to help slow the spread.