‘Mask Up and Get Vaccinated.’ This has been the most said and heard sentence in the pandemic year and the one that followed. The end of 2021 marked the advent of a new variant, Omicron, a mischievous and highly-spreading one, which is now driving the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
While people are pretty clear and decisive about getting vaccines, there is a cloud of doubt surrounding masks. Masking up is one of the most essential things to do to protect oneself from contracting the virus. However, masking up would not work as expected if one is wearing the wrong masks. So, which mask would work against the new Omicron variant?
Before we come to a conclusion regarding this pressing question, let us look at the types of masks that are currently prevalent amongst people, and while comparing them, you might stumble upon the right choice.
Currently, if you go outside, you will see people wearing the most sophisticated N95 masks, the surgical masks, and the masks made by clothing material. Now, given the high transmissibility of the variant, it is important to note a few things.
The N95 masks are generally made by PPE manufacturers by keeping in mind the quality medical standards. The surgical masks, too, are made by PPE manufacturers; however, these masks offer only a single layer of protection, while the N95 masks offer three-layer protection, which is what is recommended by health experts and the World Health Organization.
The cloth masks, which are equally popular as the other two alternatives, are not manufactured by keeping medical standards under consideration and are usually made by fashion retailers rather than medical equipment manufacturers.
Having said that, the type of masks that you need to choose depends on the surroundings you are in. If in a crowded place, an N95 mask is highly recommended since it offers the best protection against the virus. However, N95 masks can be inconvenient during strenuous physical activities or prolonged wearing. Cloth masks can be coupled with surgical masks to offer increased protection with more comfortability than the N95 masks.