Face Masks and their Role in the Fight Against the Coronavirus
A face mask is a piece of protective equipment that covers your nose and mouth, protecting you from particles in the air. It is designed so that your cheeks, nose and mouth are covered, but you have enough space to breathe.
Masks come in many different forms, but all have the common goal of filtering particles in the air, including viruses, and thus preventing them from entering your respiratory system - or from spreading from you to others. They can, therefore, be of help in containing the spread of coronavirus.
Should I be Wearing a Face Mask?
A mask cannot guarantee absolutely that you will neither contract or spread the disease, but if you use the correct mask, and use it correctly, then it will offer some protection both for you and those around you.
Every country and health organisation worldwide offer different advice on the usage of facemasks. At the time of writing, the UK Government is advising that you should wear some form of a face mask in public places. In particular, in enclosed spaces, places where social distancing is not possible, public transport, shops, and in general, any places where you meet people, not from your household.
When are Face Masks Essential?
Face masks are most critical in controlling the spread of respiratory droplets produced by someone who is infected and has symptoms. Covering the nose and mouth efficiently will limit the spread of infection from an infected individual, as long as it is used correctly.
They are also essential if you are caring for someone who has the coronavirus, in order to minimise the risk of you catching it.
So, if you:
- Have any symptoms of coronavirus
- Are looking after someone with symptoms of coronavirus
You must wear a mask at all times.
In all other circumstances, it is sensible to use an appropriate face mask to minimise the risk to you and others.
In our next blog, we’ll look at which masks can protect against coronavirus.