The most worrying topic in the world right now is neither Pakistan nor its terrorists. Its not whether India and China would go to war either! Even Kim Jong-un has vanished from sight. One thing that shocked the world to no bounds in 2020 was the scourge of Coronavirus. Everyone waited for the year to come to an end hoping for better times in 2021. There were all sorts of helpful information and misinformation doing the rounds. Every person you talk to had a flurry of suggestions and innovative precautions to prescribe. One question that may have led you to this post could be- Whether Virus Mask Provide Protection Against Viruses Or Bacteria? Or maybe this- Do Pollution Masks Work Against Viruses? We’ll try to answer this in the entire length and breadth of this post.
Sadly, 2021 has seen fresh waves of the infection across the world. The 2nd wave proved to be a worse challenge for India.
VIRUS MASK – DO THEY WORK?
To answer this question its imperative that we do an analysis of what we are up against. Viruses and bacteria as you know, are microscopic in size. Some are so small that only an electron microscope can see them. Normally, there are no masks that are sold just to tackle viruses and bacteria. Its just that at this time, marketers have adopted these phrases to cash in on the demand.
Best Pollution Masks work just fine to combat the menacing Coronavirus. In fact, experts and scientists say that if you are healthy then you only need to wear a mask if you are attending to or nearby an infected person. I personally beg to differ. I’ll explain why in just a second. But, before that let me finish with what doctors and scientists say further. They say that wearing masks would be useful only if done in tandem with other practices. Washing hands frequently with Best Hand Sanitizers in India or foaming hand washes is the easiest protection against risk of infection. Do not rub eyes or touch nose and definitely not eat without washing your hands.
WHY EVERYONE SHOULD WEAR MASK – CAN VIRUS PENETRATE MASKS?
Here I explain why everyone should wear masks for virus. See, the Coronavirus outbreak has reached a magnitude where only the Almighty can save us from here. Had it been so that it were showing signs of being contained then it would have been a different story. Each day we hear of deaths and thousands of fresh cases of infections. In such a scenario how wise do you think it is to wear a mask only when you have a confirmed case of virus infection near you?
ALSO READ: BEST MASKS FOR CORONAVIRUS
Any person can be a carrier of the viral infection. It may just be a matter of time when he/she starts to show signs of infection. A person who seems perfectly alright may sneeze nearby or shake hands with you just after. After some days, you hear about him being tested positive of the virus! What would be your first reaction? I am sure your world would turn upside down. You will fall in an endless tunnel of suspicion and will become paranoid. Each instance of you being near to that person, you’ll start cursing it. And you’d wish “If only I’d worn a mask and taken precautions, I’d have been 100% safe”. Its not for no reason that over 3.5 million people are already dead due to the disease.
KNOW WHAT SIZED PARTICLES CAN VIRUS MASK STOP
The below diagram I prepared will help you understand the size of viruses. This is not to any scale, just for a rough idea.
Coronavirus is a relatively large virus. You can think of it as an obese and bulky virus. This is infact a grace as had it been smaller and lighter, its virulence and impact would have been far greater. A typical Coronavirus is spherical in shape with a diameter of 12% of a micron. A micron is unit of measurement of length. One meter when divided into 10,00,000 parts is what a micron is. Coronavirus ranges from 0.06 micron to 0.14 microns in diameter. As for the size thing, yes it is a relatively bulkier strain compared to other Coronavirus variants (Coronavirus ranges from 0.06 micron to 0.14 microns in diameter). Its not like some viruses are on the prowl, flying around by themselves searching for a host. A virus is always bonded or enveloped in something larger. For example – in droplets released from a cough, whose size is definitely larger than a virus’ and falls within the capacity of an N95 mask to stop. Yes, N95 masks are capable to stop 0.3 micron sized particles.
From the diagram, you can do a comparative study of how viruses stack up against other microscopic particles. Coronavirus’ size is smaller than PM2.5. However, even inferior quality respirators without valves are more than capable of filtering them. Obviously the Best N95 Masks can completely stop the risk of spread of the viral infection through mouth and nose.
VIRUSES NEED A HOST
A virus activates itself when it finds a favorable host to dwell in. You may not know but viruses can’t do any harm if they are just lying on a surface. They have to somehow get inside a living beings’ body to show their true colors. So, the most likely way you can catch the virus is through contact with another infected person.
Viruses are the cause of some of the most fatal of diseases. Small Pox, HIV, Measles and the latest Chinese Virus are the most notorious ones. They are collectively the reason for the death of over a billion people since centuries.
PRECAUTIONS WHILE HANDLING MASKS
All your efforts in shielding yourself from infections can go down the drain easily. Protection from particles which you can’t even see is like fighting an invisible enemy. To multiply and multiply even more is a cakewalk for bacteria and viruses. So, what I am trying and say is to be cautious end to end. Read the below points to know how to handle the virus masks.
- Always clean your hands before wearing a mask. Prefer using alcohol-based hand washes as they kill bacteria immediately.
- Learn the proper way to wear a mask. It should cover your nose and mouth. There should not be any air leakages or gaps from the sides. An ill-fit mask is equivalent to compromising your protection.
- Do not touch a used mask. There may be microbes sticking to its outer layer and may transfer to your hands.
- Follow the proper way to dispose of the masks. Do not be greedy to use it more and more even if its a single-use variety.
- To remove the mask, touch the inner surfaces (which were touching your skin) and then wash your hands properly.
GLOVES CAN DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD
You may be surprised to read this heading. Gloves and masks together are an inseparable sight, right? In wearing gloves, we touch surfaces with élan. We even touch far dirtier surfaces which we would never touch with bare hands. Unless, you have washed and dried your hands prior to wearing gloves thoroughly, you are at a greater risk. The sweat and heat on palms provide ideal conditions for germs. Even if a trace number of germs are left on palms or in nails, they’ll multiply in no time. You may not heed washing your hands just after removing the gloves thinking your hands are as clean as ever! Got the point?
Its better to wear masks and wash hands frequently. This is the best remedy against risks of catching viral and bacterial infections. Many people need to learn to properly wash the hands. Washing hands is not just wetting them.
I hope you got an answer to your query. N100 Masks, N99 Masks and even N95 masks are very efficient is protection against viruses and bacteria. However, N95 Masks are sufficient, no need to go for more costlier N99 and N100 masks. If you are able to find a perfect fit mask for yourself, then you have won half the battle. Follow other guidelines and rest assured, we can collectively defeat these rogue viruses easily.
CAN VIRUS MASKS KILL BACTERIA?
It would have been great if they did. But, all that the Virus masks do is to stop these pathogens. This is the reason why it is recommended not to touch the outer side of the masks. Doing this makes you vulnerable to diseases. The virus and bacteria which the mask stopped may stick to your hands and infect you. The wearer can’t help but has to touch the mask for readjusting or removing it.
Many tiny droplets are expelled in the air when someone sneezes or coughs. No need to mention, but these droplets contain bacteria and viruses. The water eventually evaporates leaving behind viruses, even bacteria.
SALT – CAN IT HELP AGAINST VIRUSES?
Traditionally, it is known to us how salt inhibits bacterial growth. Ancient Egyptians and Indians knew how to use the good properties of salt in mummification and medicine. Salt pulls out the water from bacterial cells which in turn shrivel and get killed.
Salt can be of great use in neutralizing bacteria and viruses. Salt’s molecular level structure is angular and can pierce through viruses to render them impotent. Some researchers have experimented coating face masks with salt and studied the impact on three stains of influenza virus. As expected, within 5 minutes of contact with salt, the rogue virus got incapacitated. In another 25 minutes, the virus were destroyed.
Just with the use of common salt, a breakthrough is in the offing. With this research being put to use commercially, the effectiveness of virus masks will be greatly enhanced.
Why To Limit Using Salt Only On Your Mask?
You can mop your room floors with rock salt solution for even greater protection. Nowadays, disinfectant cleaners like Lizol are being used indiscriminately at homes. I agree that they kill pathogens instantly as they use hypochlorite and other chemicals. Think of what would happen to our water bodies to which these chemicals reach ultimately. The water becomes alkaline and gravely impacts aquatic life which barely survive or perish in it. Such disinfectants are causing irreparable damage to the environment.
I recommend using common salt or Rock salt to clean the floors. Rock salt also expels negative aura from the home. So, the benefits are all round and multiple.
CAN CORONAVIRUS INFECT PETS?
Yes! A virus is too small and impartial to distinguish between a man or an animal. The COVID-19 Chinese virus that has invaded countries is just a new member in the Coronavirus family. Less dangerous stains of Coronavirus can cause dysentery or even organ failure in cats. Pantropic canine Coronavirus is fatal to cats and dogs. The infection does not spread from one animal or person to another.
You cannot go to sleep with your mask on. What if a gust of wind through your window brings a stream of viruses from outside and infect you even in the safe perimeter of your house? Yes, Coronavirus may be airborne or be present in aerosol form in some cases. When the danger was so grave (before vaccines were made and still is for many) and so much dependent on one’s luck, people taking all possible precautions have also contacted the infection. And this virus is here to stay forever now.