Why a mask with a valve is not suitable for protection against coronavirus
Such protective equipment can make you dangerous to others.
Sometimes protective fabric masks are equipped with a special valve. In this case, the mask works like this - you inhale air through filters and exhale it through a one-way valve. Thus, warm air comes out from under the mask faster, it becomes easier to breathe, the mask is easier to wear, and glasses will not fog up.
We put on masks for two reasons. Firstly, we hope that they will protect us from COVID-19 (however, disputes are still underway regarding the effectiveness of masks). Secondly, more importantly, the mask does not allow us to infect others, if we are sick and do not suspect it.
The valve allows free passage of air as it exhales. This means that an infected person will spread particles of the virus around him as if he weren’t wearing any protection at all.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend using masks and respirators with valves to prevent infection with this disease.
Such protection can be worn in conditions of smog, dust and smoke - for example, at a construction site or factory where harmful particles are floating in the air. But the mask with the valve will not stop the spread of the virus.
Now they are advised to wear not only sick.
WHO Director-General Tedros Hebreyusus, during a new COVID-19 briefing, announced new recommendations for the prevention of coronavirus. Here are the main points:
- Doctors and other medical staff should always wear masks, regardless of whether they work with infected coronavirus infections or not.
- People over 60 years of age, as well as those who have chronic diseases, are advised to wear masks wherever it is impossible to maintain physical distance.
- The governments of the countries should encourage the wearing of masks in any places where it is impossible to maintain physical distance, especially for public transport and shops.
- Those with symptoms similar to coronavirus infection should stay at home. All who contacted him should be quarantined.
- If a sick person or someone who has contacted him needs to leave the house, he must wear a mask.
- WHO considers masks to be of high quality, which consist of three layers of different materials or more.
Previously, the WHO spoke only about the need to wear masks for the sick, because there was insufficient data (apart from clinical studies, which many experts consider to be of little relevance to real life).
In self-isolation mode, many men began to pay less attention to shaving. A unique challenge appeared on Twitter, indicated by the tags #coronabeard and #letsgrowtogether: its participants grow beards while they are in quarantine. Jim Carrey, for example, promised not to shave until he can return from filming again.
But in February, infographics created by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention crawled through news sites. In it, the organization recommends that men shave off their beards and mustaches, otherwise they will not be able to wear a protective mask correctly.
But do not rush to grab a razor and get rid of your beauty. The media, as always, exaggerated a bit. This infographic appeared back in 2017, when they did not even suspect a coronavirus.
In an original article, the CDC advises shaving facial hair only to medical professionals who wear N95 type respiratory masks. Their CDC does not recommend wearing on the street. For those who do not work in a medical facility, an ordinary fabric mask will also work. And it may well be combined with a beard.
If you want to leave facial hair, keep in mind that you should not touch it without washing your hands before doing this. iT is also important to simply wash it thoroughly every day with soap or shampoo.If you feel that the beard constantly encourages you to touch your face - shave it away from sin.
A recording with Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Minister Koen Geens, trying to fit a face mask went viral. If the minister tried to get out of trouble with a joke about his ears being too big, political opponents immediately made contact with the way the government handled the new coronavirus crisis.
The Brussels Time states that the scene took place during Koen Geens' visit to a workshop in the province of Brabant. The filmed images show how, due to the fastening system, the minister barely manages to hang his ear mask, reaching first his forehead, then his eyes, and only finally, his mouth and nose.
The one who defended the minister was the author of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, who shared the images, saying that she could not laugh at him, because she would do the same and be just as confused and clumsy, especially if it was filmed.
Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès has announced that the restrictions will be lifted gradually, starting with May 11th. First the shops will open, and next week the schools will be reopened, with a limited number of students in each class.
The face shield is very effective. It does not make breathing difficult, and glasses do not fog up. According to scientists from the University of Iowa, the face shield reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 96% if an infected person coughs in your face. And even if you contact the patient for 30 minutes, the shield will protect you by 80%.
For comparison: the effectiveness of disposable medical masks ranges from 60 to 75%. For homemade fabric masks, this number varies depending on the material, from 40 to 90%, and for a respirator reaches 95%.
The face shield does not need to be washed and wait until it dries, it can be disinfected with soap and water or a 70% solution of alcohol, as recommended by use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and considerations regarding the situation of their acute shortage of WHO. And it is reusable, unlike surgical masks. Yes, and it interferes with touching your face.
For optimal protection, the visor should completely cover your chin and forehead, so choose the right size. Ideally, the shield should be worn with the mask. So you cover both your mouth and face skin and eyes.
If you do not know where to buy such a shield, you can make it yourself with a simple instruction.
Disposable masks have invaded the beaches of Hong Kong where, for several months, residents have been covering their faces to protect themselves from the new coronavirus.
According to environmental associations, these masks add to the already worrying amounts of plastic waste floating in Hong Kong's waters, writes Agerpres.
"The disposable mask is just another weight we leave to future generations," said Gary Stokes, co-founder of OceansAsia.
Shortly before the pandemic broke out, the Hong Kong environmental organization launched a one-year study on waste and microplastics found on one of the country's most remote and uninhabited islands.
The five most commonly found items were bottles, polystyrene packaging, lighters, disposable cutlery and plastic straw.
Currently, disposable masks float on the surface of the sea, along the beaches and the coast.
Recently, environmentalists identified and collected 70 masks within a radius of 100 meters. A week later, another 30 masks were found.
"Since people started wearing masks, the consequences of this phenomenon are now visible on the beaches," Stokes said.
Hong Kong's nearly 7.5 million people produce six million tons of waste each year, of which only about 30% is recycled.