The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest health crises the world has faced. It has affected everyone and has wreaked havoc in every sphere of life. The surgical mask is the symbol of the age because of its widespread use. Doctors have used it for the first in the operating rooms of Germany and the USA back in the 1920s. In 2020 however, it is an essential accessory for the wellbeing of everyone. The face masks available in the market are of a variety of shapes, forms, sizes, and materials. Across the world, governments are imposing the face mask as obligatory to protect the people from the risk of Coronavirus.
Surgical masks are designed specially to protect the ones who wear them and their immediate environment. It prevents one from contracting airborne diseases such as common cold, chickenpox, mumps, measles, tuberculosis, whooping cough, and diphtheria. According to WHO, surgical masks are a must for people who have COVID-19 symptoms, healthcare workers, people who are caregivers for ones affected by COVID-19, if one is visiting places where physical distancing cannot be achieved, and people who are aged 60 years or more.
There are some important guidelines to wear a surgical mask. It must fit one perfectly, covering the nose, mouth, and chin. A surgical mask that is too loose or too tight might harm one's health. Touching the surface of the mask when one is outdoors can be a health hazard. One must discard a single-use medical mask into a closed bin.
The alternatives are fabric face masks which are not as efficient. Washing fabric face masks with warm water and soap after every use is compulsory. A dirty or partially wet fabric mask can increase the chances of contracting airborne diseases. It can also cause fungal infections. The material plays a huge role in determining if it will help in the long run.
Pros of using a surgical mask over a cloth mask
Masks help prevent respiratory droplets from transmitting through the air- this phenomenon is known as source control. According to research, COVID-19 spreads among people who are in close proximity to one another. Here are some of the advantages of using a surgical mask.
A surgical mask has three protective layers and is better aid. It absorbs more moisture than fabric masks.
It is also cost-effective when compared to fabric face masks. Fabric masks should be worn over surgical masks for double protection if one is in a crowded space.
Surgical masks are recommended by medical practitioners.
Fabric masks are only as effective as the material they are made up of.
Surgical masks usually come with double or triple layer protection.
Even though cloth masks have more variety than plain blue surgical masks but prevention is better than cure and one must choose wisely. Thus, to conclude, it is recommended to wear a three-layer medical mask over a simple fabric mask.