The intended purpose of a 3-Ply Surgical Mask is to be fluid resistant and provide the wearer protection against large droplets, splashes, and sprays of bodily or other hazardous fluids. This is meant to protect the patient from the wearer’s respiratory emissions. In other words, if an individual with COVID19 were to be wearing this, they would be protecting others by limiting the spread of their respiratory secretions.
The intended purpose of the N95 is to reduce the wearer’s exposure to particles including small particle aerosols and large droplets (only non-oil aerosols). In other words, the wearer is protected from exposure from particulate matter. This is why painters would wear a N95 mask to protect themselves from paint fumes and Surgeons would wear a surgical mask to protect their patients.
Masks used on their own will not prevent the spread of COVID19. It will help lessen the likelihood of large respiratory droplets to transfer from person to person in enclosed areas. We must continue to consistently practice good hygiene by frequent hand washing and physical distancing.
The best mask for you depends on several factors. As previously mentioned, a surgical mask is typically worn by doctors to prevent their droplets from a patient. A N95 purposefully protects the wearer from exposure to particles in the air. You can also opt for a fabric mask to cover your mouth and nose to keep those around you safe from your respiratory droplets.
You should be wearing a mask if you are around others or in enclosed public spaces such as the grocery store, shopping malls, and healthcare facilities. Consider wearing a mask if you feel sick.
How to wear a mask properly?
- Ensure that you have clean hands.
- Determine which side of the mask is the top. The bendable edge is to contour around your nose.
- Determine which side is the front. The white side is typically the side that touches your face.
- Place ear loops around the ears.
- Mold the bendable edge to contour your nose and ensure the mask is covering both the nose and mouth.