The Best Masks Against the Coronavirus

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Wearing a surgical mask can create a “sense of protection” against the Wuhan coronavirus, but that does not mean that such masks are totally effective or that they protect “automatically” against the virus. However, that has not stopped the surgical or sanitary mask from becoming one of the most popular products in recent weeks. Worse still, it has not prevented it from becoming a kind of fashionable accessory among influencers (and aspiring influencers) on Instagram, who display them in many of their selfie and posing photographs.

A trend that for many trivializes the situation, and which also magnifies the protective capacity of the surgical mask, whose usefulness is limited and if it is placed and used properly, and together with other measures such as washing hands correctly.

They do not prevent contagion by contact or inhalation

The purpose of the surgical mask is to catch splashes of saliva and other respiratory secretions, aerosols and particles exhaled by the wearer. And it also reduces the chances that those particles exhaled by another reach the nose and mouth of the person wearing the mask. That is, the surgical mask reduces the exchange of bodily fluids in the form of splashes, but these masks do not prevent the inhalation of bacteria or virus particles suspended in the air, nor do they protect against the splashes of fluids that meet the eyes.

KF94 mask to protect against airborne transmission of the virus

All Keeper KF94 Mask Black instead itself is designed to filter out airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria in suspension. But these types of masks are so tight on the face that they even make breathing difficult, quite different from what happens with the surgical mask. But that means that the KF94 mask is correctly placed and that it is doing its job: “If an KF94 mask is comfortable and allows normal breathing, then it is because it is incorrectly placed – they explain from the Singapore Ministry of Health – it is not helping at all and it is not protecting.

And the same happens with the surgical mask, even with a properly fitted KF94 mask, “if you keep touching your face with your hands, the chances of being contagious by contact are increased.” These types of masks are also less common and much more expensive than surgical ones. The ease of use and relative low cost of the surgical mask is precisely the reason for its popularity despite its lesser protection. It’s better than nothing.

More than ten years ago the journalist Esther Samper gave the recipe for a media disease, listing the ingredients that come together to make a disease famous. So, in 2009, influencers did not exist – or at least Instagram did not exist – but Samper would probably agree to incorporate this banalization by influencers into his recipe for a media disease.

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