Mask is a public health tool that protects people from various viral diseases. It is a comprehensive strategy that controls the spread of various fatal diseases in a community. By wearing a mask, you can minimize the risk of infection when you come in contact with different people. During the global pandemic covid-19, the mask proved to be one of the major protective measures by limiting the spread of this fatal disease.

Why Should You Wear a Mask?

Some people are at a relatively higher risk of illness than others, such as older people, pregnant females, and people who already have existing medical conditions; wearing a mask becomes compulsory for such persons to protect their lives. Moreover, some individuals should wear face masks while contacting people even if there is no pandemic going on, such as:

  • Individuals with weakened immune systems.
  • People who have existing medical conditions which make them vulnerable.
  • Individuals who are in close contact with vulnerable people because of their health or age.
  • Children lower than ten years
  • People who work in the medical field and contact patients on a daily basis

Benefits of wearing a mask:

There are multiple advantages of wearing a mask while going to public places. Following are a few reasons that prove what role masks play in our lives.

Masks can protect your lives

Masks block the transmission of contagious diseases and eliminate the circulation of those diseases in a community. By wearing a mask, you can minimize your risks of contracting the infection and save your loved ones. 

When people wear masks, the virus can no longer propagate in a community and cuts its chains. During the viral pandemic covid 19, researchers have shown that the communities who wore masks were at lower risks of infection and had a substantiated decline in the spread of the virus.

You may have no idea that you have contracted the contagious virus

If you have contracted the virus already, you can still save the people around you by wearing a mask. Masks not only protect the people who wear them, but they can also protect their loved ones. Sometimes a person becomes a carrier of the disease without even realizing it because no symptoms are shown in the early stages, so it is better to wear a mask to act as a defence system and minimize the propagation of diseases.

The effort is minimal in comparison to its benefits

Mask is the most convenient and cheapest intervention in history. It has an enormous number of benefits with minimal effort. It can save lives. Masks are very economical and easily accessible items that every person can find and afford, but their advantages are unmatchable. During covid-19, masks acted as lifesavers and saved the lives of millions of people.

Masks can act as a substitute for lockdowns

During the global pandemic, covid-19, the economies of countries were destroyed due to lockdowns. Wearing masks was the only way to protect lives and resume the normal functioning of life. Masks proved to be an excellent substitute for lockdowns and offered economic boons.

Masks provide additional protection when one can’t physically distance itself

Sometimes people are stuck in such positions where they cannot physically distance themselves from crowds. In such cases, masks act as a lifesaver, protect you against viral diseases, and help you stay safe and healthy.

Different types of masks

There are several types of masks that are accessible to people and comprise different properties, characteristics, and prices. People opt for different qualities of face masks depending on their requirements and preferences.

1. N-95 Mask

N-95 is a respiratory mask that filters airborne transmissible contaminants. These masks have exceptional quality and are slightly more expensive than the standard surgical masks. The N-95 masks are generally recommended for healthcare workers who encounter patients daily for improved protection.

2. Disposable or surgical masks

The loose-fitted, disposable surgical masks are termed personal protective equipment. These masks are manufactured from a combination of plastic and paper and have multiple layers. Surgical masks cover the nose and mouth and can filter large droplets, but they are not very effective in blocking extremely tiny particles. 

They generally act as a barrier to floods rather than airborne particles and do not tightly feel the face. As the name suggests, surgical masks are disposable and are usually used once or twice. Out of all the mask types, disposable surgical masks are the most common, easily available, and widely used. The surgical masks also come with multiple woven layers and an adjustable wire for better fitting around your face.

3. Reusable cloth masks

The general public prefers reusable cloth masks because they can be used multiple times. The cloth masks that have three layers can somewhat block the harmful particles from entering respiratory orifices. 

Cloth masks are easily accessible and prove to be affordable as they can be used multiple times. However, the filtration properties of cloth masks are relatively lower than the N-95 and surgical masks. Cloth masks were very common in the past when the latest types of masks were not available.

4. KN95 Masks

KN95 masks are also called respirators and fulfill international health standards. These masks provide more protection against contagious diseases as compared to other types of masks due to the presence of a filter. The KN95 masks are capable of filtering and blocking extremely tiny airborne particles. Mostly, these masks are recommended to health professionals. 

The KN95 masks are more convenient and comfortable and are relatively more breathable because of having adjustable ear loops and nose wires.

Costs of different masks

The cost of masks fluctuates depending on factors like your region, type of mask, and quality.  The surgical masks usually cost around $35 to $40 per pack of 50. The cloth masks are reusable and cost around $2 to $10, depending on the number of layers and their quality. 

The N-95 masks are almost $10 to $15 per pack of 5. The price of KN95 masks fluctuates between $9 to $12 per pack of 5. However, these prices vary and differ from person to vendor or vendor to vendor.

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