Are masks really helpful in protecting us from corona

When the pandemic started spreading rapidly, demands of masks and hand sanitizers surged and in a couple of days, markets were out of masks and sanitizers. The question is: are masks and sanitizers really important in protecting us from coronavirus.

Coronavirus spreads through water droplets emitted while sneezing and coughing. The virus can be active in the air for around 3 hours and on surfaces up to 48 hours. While sanitizing your hand, it is important that the sanitizer contains more than 60% alcohol. If such sanitizer is not available, the WHO recommends washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Wearing masks keeps us from spreading the virus to our surroundings and people. Viruses can enter the host only via eyes, nose, ears and mouth. That is why it is very important we keep minimum contact between our face and hands. Frequent adjusting of masks can also lead to viruses entering our body.

An N95 respirator mask
A surgical mask

In an article published by the U.S Food and Drug Administration, it was mentioned that: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that the general public wear N95 respirators to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including coronavirus (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Surgical masks and N95 masks keep dust, pollutants and liquid from contaminating our face. Those masks are loose fitted that keep a barrier between the wearer and their surrounding. It keeps the saliva of the wearer from coming in contact with their surroundings but cannot prevent tiny particles from entering their respiratory system.

The best way to prevent the virus from entering our bodies is by washing our hands as many times as possible. Wearing masks is important for doctors, nurses, people who take care of infected patients. Hoarding masks, sanitizers, toilet paper, food and groceries was the first reaction of people when they heard of the pandemic. If we hoard more than we require, people who actually need those items would be bereft of essential commodities. Let’s not create panic. Stay calm and stay home.

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