Coronavirus : Should a mask be used?


In this time of pandemic, a lot of information is circulating in the Internet. Contradicting information, fake news, or even uncertain statements that eventually be corrected few weeks later. All of these has been in to our daily online feeds.

The issue of wearing a mask has been in to debate oftentimes. Some says it is useful, while the others believes it’s useless. Confusing the people whether on which foot to stand with regards to this matter. At the moment, many questions still come to mind. Should I wear a mask all the time? What and which kind of masks are useful to protect ourselves from viruses? Today, let us take a quick look at the usefulness of the mask against the coronavirus.

Which mask is useful against coronavirus?

Before we get to the heart of the matter and talk about the usefulness of mask against our battle in spreading the virus, allow me to state some details about this protective shield. The coronavirus measures an average of 0.1 m.

Unfortunately, not all masks filter particles of this size. In the fight against coronavirus, the only effective masks are the FFP2 and FFP3 standards masks. The first, filters 94% of the air you breathe. But, this allows you to protect yourself from bad particles up to 0.06 m. Leaks, i.e. air that manages to pass through the edges of the mask, amount to 6% for FFP2. While the second, specifically allows you to protect a much higher rate. In fact, it filters 99% of the air we breathe. Here, unfiltered air is 1% of what you breathe. You will understand that an FFP3 mask is the pinnacle of accessories to protect you from the virus.

In Asia, these two masks can still be easily found and purchase by public. Meanwhile, in some country like France in particular, they control and limit its presence to reserve and to prioritize their medical professionals and frontliners.

What about the masks for the general public in all this?

Masks for the general public are not effective in protecting us from coronavirus particles. Indeed, the surgical mask has no waterproofing letting elements present in the air pass through. This mask is mainly made to avoid transmitting the disease in case you are carrying the coronavirus. Surgical masks, as well as pollution masks, are therefore useless to protect you from the virus. Note that fabric pollution masks do not even block the exhaust particles emitted by cars.

So how do I protect myself?

To protect ourselves effectively from coronavirus, it is best to respect the containment measures as much as possible. This measure has been proven in some of asian country in depleting the curve of fatality and emerge from the crisis quickly. If you do not have FFP2 or FFP3 masks, any exit or going outside will be considered risking oneself to be contaminated by the virus. Unfortunately, unsafe containment and not observing safety social distance can put us at risk and also endanger your loved ones.

Even if the situation is not simple, the choice is unfortunately not ours. By continually violating the containment rules, our situation will continue for many weeks, risking our lives and economy on hold. In conclusion, we must therefore take all our pain in patience and hope that a reliable treatment will be developed soon so we could move forward from this difficult time.