It is summer and many of us hope to spend some time on the beach. But unlike other summers, the fear of catching coronavirus dominates the society. To better protect ourselves and those around us, some are willing to wear a mask even on the beach or as one of my former classmates said “the fashion is a three piece swimming suit”. That made me wonder if this is really necessary, so I went and asked my doctor for advice. She told me that coronavirus is airborne and wearing a mask is the recommended practice. The face covering is especially needed in enclosed spaces or when we are in the vicinity of potentially sick people.
Most effective are the medical masks N95 and N99, which filter 95% and 99% of the airborne particles that have diameter of 100 to 300 nm since the coronavirus particles are with diameter of 125nm. Single use surgical masks that are usually used by medical personnel are in second place. Fabric masks are less effective but also help in reducing the risk of catching the disease or giving it to others especially if they are properly utilized. The World Health Organization recommends that textile masks are made of three layers – the one closest to the face should be cotton, while the inner and outermost layers should be made of artificial material that repels water particles. These masks are relatively easy to make at home and you can be creative with different colors and patterns, so that they can suit your swimsuit or other outfits. Celebrities, such as the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine, showed how masks can be stylish and worn with taste.
Interesting: If you want to learn more about how wearing masks helps, you can visit the website of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States. There, an engineer and fluid dynamics expert makes a high-speed demonstration of how wearing a mask affects airflow when speaking and coughing.
Whichever mask you choose, it should cover your mouth and nose. It should be comfortable so that you do not touch or adjust it all the time. When placing and removing the mask, it is important to wash or disinfect your hands, and you must be careful not to touch the front of the mask, but only the rubber bands. If you choose a textile mask, you should wash it after each use. And if you decide to use a surgical mask several times, it is best to isolate it in a paper bag for 7 days before putting it on your face again. This will ensure that the virus on its surface is deactivated and no longer a threat. Although wearing a mask is recommended and even mandatory in certain places, it should be mentioned that it is not natural and pleasant in the heat. A face sweating for a long time under the mask often develops rashes, which in turn must be treated. However, it is good to wear masks indoors and in places where the water splatter from others can reach us.