The effectiveness of masks against coronavirus is a debatable subject in pandemic conditions. Wearing masks is a reasonable precaution at times but recommendations from health agencies fluctuate, which creates confusion. Today, the fear circling the explosion of COVID-19 is an ongoing health conversation among global population.
COVID-19 has increased the demand for surgical masks because everyone [even healthy people] is dashing to the pharmacy or online drug stores to purchase them. This is creating a shortage, which can compromise the surgical mask needs among areas that are affected the most. It is hard to fulfill the demands for safety masks in these areas.
Surgical and respiratory masks
Personal respiratory masks are for people who are revealing symptoms or already diagnosed positive for COVID-19. According to the CDC, patients suspected or confirmed MUST wear face masks until they are in isolation at home or the hospital. When the patient gets isolated there is no need to wear a mask.
Besides surgical masks, there is another kind of mask called N95 respirators that are 95% effective in filtering both small and large particles. These masks are necessary among healthcare workers during an outbreak.
According to the CDC, N95 surgical masks are for healthcare workers, who are at risk of fluid hazards and airborne transmissions. N95 are also called medical respirators and not used outside the hospital. During a shortage of N95 respirators, the healthcare workers working in a sterile field or operative setting [exposed to fluid splatters like body fluids or blood] must wear respirators.
Besides masks, there are other precautions you need to follow include washing hands frequently with water and soap. Never touch your nose, mouth, and eyes. Stay away from those having symptoms like cough, runny nose, and breathing issues. Social distancing is also recommended.
The virus can even spread indirectly when you touch a surface contaminated with the virus. Is it fine to wear gloves to avoid contaminated surfaces?
How effective are gloves in avoiding coronavirus?
People are seen wearing latex or cotton gloves at shopping malls. Now, is this a good defense against coronavirus? Washing hands is the best protection but in public places or shopping malls this is not possible but you can clean your hands with sanitizers, even use wipes to clean the grocery carts.
This is the reason people wear gloves. However, wearing gloves offers a feeling of false security because virus sticks to any kind of gloves. If you touch your nose or mouth or eyes at any point the potential to get exposed to the coronavirus increases.
The key is to use gloves properly
It is necessary to know the correct way to remove gloves or your hands can get contaminated while removing them. Reach inside the right-hand glove and remove it inside out without coming in contact with the outside. Dispose of or wash them with hot water and soap. Even wash your hands properly.
Social distancing means no need for gloves
If you go for a walk stay a minimum of 6 feet away from others then there is no need to wear gloves but ensure to wear a mask. The coronavirus gets absorbed via mucous membranes and not your hands.