The Ultimate Guide to Choose Masks Under the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic (Advertorial for N95 Mask)

The word “mask” is one of the most popular words in 2020. According to Google Trends, the amount that “face mask” has been searched reached its highest in human history in April 2020.

According to the data that provided by Wikipedia, the number of people who was diagnosed with coronavirus every day decreased from August to September, but this amount increased sharply after September, almost refreshing the record every day.

What does the data really tell us? Well, without any doubt, it means the COVID situation will last longer than we think, and it is not showing any good news to us, at least for now. The best we can do to prevent from being testing positive and putting us into trouble is to wear a face mask.

However, you may have noticed, there are many different types of face masks in the market right now. Some of the types are verified by the health authority and can be used under COVID situation, but many of the masks are not able to prevent any of the viruses in the air at all! We will compare the different types of masks in a professional way to help you choose the right mask to wear. During our research, we found that even some websites have misleading information about masks that can be used to prevent coronavirus. We will compare these masks to give you comprehensive and subjective guidance.

1. Cloth mask

Level of protection:

Virus: (no protection)

Bacteria: (no protection)

Dust: ★★

Pollen: ★★

As you may found some articles teaching you to DIY a mask by using a T-shirt. This kind of mask is not wearable in the public if you want to prevent the virus. It gives you zero protection about virus and bacteria. Although you may feel you are prevented when you wear a cloth mask, the gap in the cloth is large enough for the virus come in and out freely. So a cloth mask can only provide you warmth, not the prevention of the virus. Don’t wear a cloth mask in COVID situation unless the cloth mask meets the standard of the WHO.

2. Sponge mask

Level of protection:

Virus: (no protection)

Bacteria: (no protection)

Dust: ★★

Pollen: ★★

The sponge mask is a fashion and the stretchability attracts many young people to wear during the pandemic situation. It is breathable, comfortable and looks super cool.

Nevertheless, if you pay enough attention to the advertisements of the sponge mask, none of them is saying they can prevent the virus. Instead, it can prevent a reasonable amount of dust haze and pollen, but not a virus. Because the particle of dust or pollen is bigger than the virus, and the virus is also small enough to penetrate the sponge. So Sponge mask is not recommended to avoid the infectious disease.

3. Activated carbon mask

Level of protection:

Virus: ★

Bacteria: ★

Dust: ★★★

Pollen: ★★★

An Activated carbon mask uses the activated carbon as the filtering material. Activated carbon is good at absorbing the noxious gas or liquid in the air, but it is not able to protect you from the virus. The ideal group of people to use activated carbon mask are the participators of the chemical industry, painting workshop, leather industry and those who are often exposed under the environment of the irritant gas.

4. Disposable medical surgical mask

Level of protection:

Virus: ★★★★

Bacteria: ★★★★

Dust: ★★★★

Pollen: ★★★★

A disposable medical surgical mask is frequently used in a surgical room where surgeries took place. That’s to say, it is able to provide good protection to the operator and those who may be exposed to bacteria and virus from the patient. Moreover, the advantage of the medical surgical mask is to prevent liquid or droplet transmission, because it has a waterproof layer at the outer layer. That is to say, a medical surgical mask is not only able to protect you from being influenced by pollen, and dust, but also bacterial and virus. It is commonly used in the high standard of protection environment such as laboratory, operating room etc. This is the most popular mask and is recommended to wear under the pandemic situation.

5. N95 mask

Level of protection:

Virus: ★★★★★

Bacteria: ★★★★★

Dust: ★★★★★

Pollen: ★★★★★

N95 is able to provide the highest level of protection among all kinds of masks that have been mentioned above. Although a medical surgical mask is good enough to prevent the virus, it doesn’t mean the wearers are free from danger. According to the CDC, the medical surgical mask is not able to provide a reliable level of protection from inhaling smaller airborne particles. In contrast, N95 mask is able to filter at least 95% of airborne particles including large and small particles. It is tight-fitting so minimal leakage occurs around edges whereas surgical mask wears would find leakage occurs when they inhale. So if you are looking for the best level of protection, N95 mask is the choice for you.

Here is the closer look of the N95 mask:

As can be seen from the detail image, there is a soft layer on the upper area to provide you with not only the best level of protection but also a comfortable experience when you wear them

Extra Tips for being safe under pandemic:

1. Wash hand with soap when you go home

Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hand because germs and virus would easily be transferred to other objects at home from an unwashed hand. Washing your hand would only take you 1 minute, and this action would minimize the risk of getting COVID-19 virus.

2. Make sure your hand is clean before putting on a mask

Using an alcohol pad to clean your hand before wearing a mask is a quick and easy way to keep you healthy.

An alcohol pad is able to kill almost all the bacterias or viruses, it powerful and affordable at the same time.

3. Keep the mask in a ventilated place after wearing

Most masks are not re-usable, you have to abandon it after using. However, if you just wear a mask for a few minutes to go out to buy some groceries, it is reasonable to keep it. Instead of folding a used mask, you could hang the mask in a ventilated place where air flows, because a close environment would help the virus to spread.

Even now, the pandemic situation in Europe and the US are getting worse and worse. There are around 2000 deaths every day in the US and about 5000 deaths in Europe. Hope you could stay safe and sound. Wearing a mask is necessary as the pandemic situation has not ended yet. A mask could save a life, and a good mask would definitely provide more value than you can imagine!