It’s year two of the pandemic, and masks have progressed from a bizarre new experience to an essential element of public life (and a fashion statement!). With caseloads at an all-time high and a more contagious new strain on the horizon, we thought it was time to create a brief assessment of which masks provide the best protection and when you should wear them.
1. Wearing an N95 or better is recommended for anything indoors (e.g., shopping).
2. A wholesale kn95 mask (the Chinese standard) comes in a broad range of quality and frequently contains ear loops rather than head straps, which decreases fit quality. They are sometimes as excellent as N95s, while other times they are no better than cloth. Here’s one viable possibility.
3. Wear a fabric mask over an N95 if you like the way it looks.
4. N95s should be discarded if they get too unclean or difficult to breathe through. According to some publications, they should be discarded after 8 hours of cumulative usage. However, they may last longer.
5. Unlike last year, N95s are now widely available! If one of the vendors is out of stock, try another. In general, 3M masks outperform lesser-known brands. Valved N95 masks are an alternative if the valve is covered with tape or a fabric mask is worn over it to filter your exhalations.
6. N95s must fit properly to function properly, with a full seal forming around the edge as you inhale. If you have a beard, you must shave it to get the full benefits of a good seal.
7. To filter your exhale, put a surgical mask or cloth over the outflow valve in the center. If you’re performing something dangerous, use a modified P100 respirator and goggles. Ski goggles, safety goggles, or other forms of eye protection can be used as goggles. Full-face P100 respirators with eye protection are also available.
8. Cloth masks offer some protection to others but offer very little protection to you. They are suitable for outdoor usage and ideal for strenuous outdoor activity since they are not affected by perspiration and can be washed for reuse.
9. Eye protection is not a replacement for wearing a mask, but it can give extra protection in high-risk situations when used in conjunction with a decent mask.
Business owners can reach out to a medical equipment distributor if you wish to source quality masks in bulk.
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