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In late 2019 the early insight to the coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since those initial cases, the world has been taken hold of with the global pandemic status. More than 220 countries and islands have been affected by COVID-19. Towards the end of April 2020 the total confirmed cases of the virus reached over 3 million carriers, with a majority percentage of these being recovered cases. 

With no known vaccine being in place the population of the world must take great care of one another to help protect our vulnerable members of society. People who have cases of underlying health conditions along with the elderly are those at the highest risk of the virus.

The UK government announced a sequence of acts to be enforced in the county starting in March 2020, with the 'Social Distancing' being a key process along with staying at home to help stump the spread of the virus, but what can citizens do to help protect themselves when they must leave their homes for essential acts which may include work, exercise or to carry out shopping tasks.

What face masks do we need? What products are out there to keep us safe? 

FFP2 where to get face masks uk safety PPE FFP1 FFP2 N95

Although most types of masks can undoubtedly aid, others are known to be of
minimal use and others may be regarded as overboard. For safety during the
pandemic the following masks are recommended.

 

Masks to make at home?  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends wearing fabric face masks or handmade face masks for people who are not sick to help discourage asymptomatic patients from transmitting COVID-19. Homemade mask-wearing is a perfect addition to good hygiene and helping with social distancing.

Wear face masks of cloth if you are going out to a public setting including in hospitals, grocery stores and other places where there is a major risk of transmission locally. Just make sure your face mask cloth is washed after each use. Also, please stop rubbing your head, nose, and mouth as you remove it. You should always look straight away at your face.

Although the use of homemade items such as fabric and cotton mask is a step above having no mask or PPE protection, they are still offering much less protection than the use of the official medical-grade N95 masks.

N95 Respirator Masks

N95 masks are portable disposable masks designed for people who deal with dust, mould or environmental / medical emergencies. Such close fit masks shield the wearer from sprays, splashes and big droplets.

They can be designed in many varieties with fixed and folded being the most common. Valved N95 masks have proved to be very popular during the pandemic due to the superior protection that they offer. 

It can also remove up to 95% of the small particles, including bacteria and viruses, hence the name. The "N" in its name means "not resistant to oil." Some companies make N95 respirators. For health professionals, this type of mask is most strongly needed to be saved.

N95 comes in different sizes and so it should be checked correctly first before being used. If not, the wearer won't get the appropriate protection he or she 
wants.

N95 FFP2 FFP3 FFP1 respiratory safety masks PPE

Should we be wearing face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

From a scientific and economical standpoint.. yes, yes we should as these masks are able to provide some prevention again airborne disease and particles. To what extent are they effective on a global scale? That is left to be unknown. 
We do know that the government guidelines of social distancing, washing our hands on a constant basis, and keeping distance in place whilst staying at home are the best efforts that we can all do the prevent the spread at this time. 

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