KNOW YOUR MASK, As we move to the post- COVID world, the new order has replaced the old normal. We have undertaken habits that were once never even considered. We have started undertaking activities that are going to stay with us for a long time. All of us have grown concerned about our sanitisation habits, and personal hygiene is now something that surrounds us all throughout.

Among all of this, one such activity is the use of face ma sks all the time. Research has shown that the Novel coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets and usage of face ma sks prevents the contamination of patients. The mass usage of such face ma sks or face shields have helped in flattening the curve for the spread of COVID- 19. The supply of ma sks has seen a surge as people started demanding the face mas ks. Today, a variety of ma sks are available in the market. These include a variety of surgical ma sks, 3 ply ma sks, respirator such as the N95 or FFP2 ma sks or the cloth ma sks but it may begin difficult for a layman to choose the best form of a ma sk.

Also, there are disparities on the location where these ma sks should be worn. It is generally recommended that these ma sks are worn at our workplace, medical stores, grocery store, hospitals and nursing homes or any other public place of mass gathering. Let us see the types of masks and their usages:

Cloth Masks- This is the most common variety of masks. There are a large number of videos on the internet providing tutorial on how to make these masks from clothing items. According to studies, masks made from a combination of a large number of fabric is effective.

 Surgical Masks– Surgical masks form a part of the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kits. These masks provide protection from all kind of macroparticles but they may be ineffective against microdroplets. Although these masks may be reused in the short-run it should be discarded after a certain period as it may lead to contaminating oneself.

 Respiratory Masks- these are the safest form of a mask. It provides protection against all kinds of particles in the air. It is five-layered and filters pathogens in our surrounding air. The general public should refrain from using these masks as they may lead to fatalities in case of physically exhausting tasks and in some cases lead to death as the five layers obstruct the air. Moreover, these masks are not available in large quantities so they should be reserved for frontline medical and sanitisation staff.

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