But what kind of mask will give you and others the best protection against any novel corona virus circulating in the air?
“In addition to the level of filtration, we need to focus on relevance,” Allen continued. “The mask should go over the bridge of the nose, down to the cheek and shine on the face, resting with the skin. You want your breath to go through the filter media and not escape from the sides.”
Please do not have N95 masks or discharge values
This is important: Do not buy N95 masks for your personal use, says CDC. When they are most effective – 95% filtration of all particles – they are considered important ingredients and should be consistently reserved for health workers and other medical first responders.
In addition, N95 masks must be fitted to adhere to the unique contours of each physician or nurse’s face. You and your loved ones will not have access to that kind of expert fit.
“Some of those social-utility N95 masks have exhaust valves,” he said. “They’re very comfortable for them to wear, but you don’t protect those around you – it vents your airflow into the environment.
“It can really make things worse because it concentrates your breath into that valve, which allows something to come in with force, and the droplets may travel a little farther. Therefore, we strongly recommend that people do not wear a mask with an exhaust valve.”
Tightly woven fabric mask
According to CDC’s new guidelines, fabric masks with a high thread count seem to be a better choice.
You want as many layers as possible without sacrificing breathing – if you can’t breathe, don’t put the mask on your face. Two and three layer masks seem to do the trick for most people.
According to the CDC, “multiple layers with a higher number of yarns have proven to be better than single layers with a lower number of threads, in some cases filtering up to 50% of fine particles less than 1 micron.”
This is good news – studies have found SARS – CoV – 2 in aerosols ranging from 1 to 4 microns.
In addition, the CDC stated that multilayer fabric masks can prevent 50% to 80% of fine droplets and granules and “control the forward spread of non-capture”, “in some studies parallel to surgical masks as barrier to root control with fabric masks.”
The CDC claims that polypropylene, one of the most commonly produced plastics in the world, “can improve filtration efficiency” because it creates a triboe electric charge – or in simpler terms, fixed adhesive.
Your outgoing breath and any water droplets are electric fixed traps that move your way from others. Because cotton is the most comfortable fabric for leather, polypropylene is often used as filters that can be placed inside a two- or three-layer mask.
Washing will kill the electric charge, but do not worry. A brisk rubbing between your fingers should bring back that “sticky” charge.
According to the CDC, the most breathable option is silk, which “helps to repel wet droplets and reduce fabric moisture, thus maintaining breathing and comfort.”
“We found that silk face masks repel spray tests and disposable single-use surgical masks,” the authors wrote, adding that silk masks are “more breathable than other fabrics that trap moisture, and reusable by cleaning.”
This brings up an important point: To avoid catching germs that can irritate your face or reduce the effectiveness of the mask, reusable masks should be washed daily with soap and warm water. Do not wear the mask again until it is completely dry – wet cloth is difficult to breathe though.
“If you use a filter on your mask, be sure to change it regularly because it will clog up. You can tell if it gives a feeling that is a little harder than breathing,” Emory’s Sexton said.
Even the most protective mask will fail if you wear it incorrectly. Full face coverage is essential at all times, which means you should not let it slip under your nose.
If it is difficult to cover your nose and breathe, find the best fitted mask.
It’s important to wear a mask everywhere you go – even in the car if you’re with people outside your bubble.
“If you’re going to ride an Uber taxi, you want to have a mask, the driver has to have a mask,” Allen said. “You like to put the windows down, even if it’s random weather. Slightly opening the windows will really help.”
Always carry a hand cleanser
No matter what kind of mask you wear, you should take it with you to eat, or adjust it in some style while it is on your face. This makes the hand cleanser the best friend of the mask, experts say.
“Masks slip all the time, especially when you speak,” said Dr. Henry Wu, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.
“Therefore, it may require changes from time to time,” Wu said. “This is a great reason to have hand sanitizer with you so you can always have clean hands to tighten that mask or pull it back up.”