Believe it or not, this is not the first global pandemic that hit the world. The first one that affected the entire planet occurred in 1918 with the Spanish Flu, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called the influenza pandemic. People also wore face masks then, just as people are doing now.
What is a Face Mask Used For?
The CDC has provided guidelines on how to wear masks. You should at least use them to cover your face when you are in situations when you can’t practice proper social distancing.
According to the guidelines, you should wear face masks in crowded areas such as grocery stores, markets, and even pharmacies, where you purchase your medications. Remember that the main benefit of these face masks is that they can catch most germs. That way, everyone is reducing the risk of spreading the infection.
Cloth Mask vs. Surgical or N95 Masks
Health experts have advised that people shouldn’t be too complacent when they wear cloth masks. They are not of the same quality as N95 or surgical masks in capturing bacteria, viruses, and other germs.
Simply put, if you are wearing a cloth mask outdoors, you should still practice proper social distancing. If you are sick or infected, it is best that you put on a surgical mask and other masks approved by medical experts. You should also know how to wear a mask properly and how to dispose of one correctly.
Factors to Consider When You are Shopping for One
The following are some of the most important factors to consider when you are in the market for face masks. Note that the guidelines below are the ones recommended by medical experts, such as those from the World Health Organization and the CDC.
- Facial Hair
Note that facial hair might interfere with how effective a mask can be. Having a thick beard or moustache that may be protruding outside of the mask may expose you to a possible infection.
If you wear glasses, then you should get a mask that has a tie face covering. With that on the mask, you can adjust the tightness of the fit of the mask without your glasses interfering in any way. You know the mask is loose if you see your glasses steaming from your breath.
- Hearing and Breathing Difficulty
Some masks may be too tight that they obstruct your breathing. That is an indicator of poor design or maybe a bad fit. You should try a mask of a bigger size if that happens. Some masks also cover the ears, which may make it difficult for you to hear another person. Consider getting one that doesn’t cover your ears.
- Is It a Good Fit?
If a mask covers the bridge of your nose and your face (all the way down under your chin), then you know that that mask is a good fit for your face. It should not restrict your natural head movement, and you should still be able to speak properly with it on.
- How Often Do You Need One
You don’t have to wear face masks day in and day out. If you need to use public transport or go out of the house and encounter crowds a lot, it would be better to buy an entire pack of these masks.
If not, you can buy a handful and wash and dry the ones you have used. Make sure that you have enough masks for your entire family in case an emergency arises, and you all have to go out of the house.
Masks and social distancing are now part of the norm. Follow the guidelines mentioned above, so you are sure to get the right mask for your protection.
Sylvia James is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.