Are You Wearing the Right Mask?

A brief comparison of the different types of masks available to combat COVID-19.

Afraid of getting sick or catching COVID-19? Of course you are, everyone is. Recent studies have shown that some masks are more effective than others. Are you using the right one?

Recent studies have shown that the layering of your mask plays a huge role in the spread of COVID-19. Single layer masks like T-shirt masks are better than nothing but only reduce the amount of droplets from speaking and breathing. On the other hand, double layered mask filters out less droplets and are a better alternative.

A more common alternative to masks that are being used are bandanas and neck gaiters. Neck gaiters and bandanas are roughly the same but does that mean they're good? No, not at all. Both materials filter out more droplets that are smaller and stay airborne longer compared to any other mask. It's counterproductive

to wear one of these masks compared to not wearing one at all.

Coming up next are the N95 and disposable masks. The N95 masks contribute greatly in the reduction of droplets and the spread of COVID-19 along with other airborne illnesses. Although the N95 are the best masks, there are short reserves and should be used more by healthcare workers since they're the ones constantly surrounded by people with illnesses.

The disposable surgical masks are second best compared to the N95. For a surgical mask to work at its optimal potential a 3 ply layer mask is best. Again the more layers the less droplets will be produced into the air.

Another frequently worn mask are the homemade masks. These masks are definitely a whole lot better than no mask at all. Depending on the number of layers that are used. 2-3 lay

ers is recommended by the World Health Organization. The best material to be used for these homemade masks would be quilted cotton which coil reduce the droplet spread to 2.5 inches.

Story by Jacob Valenica '21