It's commonly known, most places are now requiring customers to wear a mask in order to receive service or even enter the grocery store. If this is the case and you need information about masks and which mask is best for you, you've landed in the right spot.
However it should be known, prior to reading, that medical and N95 masks should be reserved for hospitals or healthcare workers in order to keep them safe as they are present where airborne illnesses are most common.
Better known as Particulate Respirator N95. Filters at least 95 percent of all airborne particles. A tight fit against the face is crucial for these masks to work. Any type of facial hair, such as a beard or mustache that may create an opening against the fit of the mask will prevent sealing.
Commonly seen as blue and white masks, medical masks are not as protective as the N95 mask. They prevent you from spreading airborne illnesses however they were not designed to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne bacteria or virus particles.
Can come in many different shapes and styles and is the least protective. Many DIY face masks can be made from bandanas, cloth, or home-made. However it's key to know the facts. But the best options include multiple layers of fabric as this will help from spreading airborne illnesses. Some variations include a pocket for a coffee filter and some venture to test a paper towel to prevent breathing in airborne illnesses.
So which mask is for you?
If you are a healthcare worker with access to an N95 mask, then the N95 is for you. Most masks can be worn past their shelf life, though straps and wiring may be worn down after the shelf life. So make sure to test the fit before use.
If you are a healthcare worker without access to an N95 mask then a medical mask is still a safe choice.
If you are none of the above options then we need to do our part and save N95 and medical masks for those in the middle of airborne illnesses everyday. Including myself, we should instead turn towards making our own or purchasing some that are already made.