Why Surgical Masks Have Become a Mandatory Accessory in 2020
Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak spread across the world, it has changed life as we know it. The pandemic has had far-reaching effects across society, from limiting social gatherings to shutting down public venues.
Among these modifications to day-to-day activities, one of the most profound changes comes in the form of wearing face coverings. As outlined by Health Canada, the equipment is essential to curbing the spread of COVID-19 in settings where social distancing is not possible.
That is why using a surgical mask has become a critical practice in our everyday life. From essential workers to grocery shoppers, nearly everyone is seen with these masks on their faces. This has made the equipment our new normal for the time being and set it apart as a mandatory accessory for 2020.
How Does a Surgical Mask Help in the First Place?
According to health experts from all over the world, wearing face coverings can help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in a highly effective way.
It is because the novel coronavirus is typically spread when an infected person releases their respiratory droplets into the air around them. These droplets are discharged when someone who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, talks, or even breathes.
If another person comes in contact with these droplets, they can become infected with the novel coronavirus disease. Since this respiratory discharge can linger for around 2 meters or 6 feet, everyone must maintain this much distance from others in public settings.
However, when this physical distancing is not possible, a facemask can help absorb these respiratory droplets when the wearer discharges them. This helps reduce the chances of the virus’ spread.
Everyone Needs to Wear These Face Coverings in Public
According to various observations, COVID-19 can easily be spread through asymptomatic infections, which refer to patients with little to no symptoms of the disease but still carry it.
This means that anyone who is infected by the novel coronavirus but who doesn’t show symptoms can inadvertently spread the disease to others. This is why everyone must follow safety measures such as social distancing to keep their community safe.
However, in situations where physical distancing is difficult, wearing a surgical mask can help. This practice can ensure that you do not mistakenly spread the virus to others if you are infected and asymptomatic.
When combined with other public safety measures such as social distancing and hand washing, this habit can help bring down the spread of COVID-19. It is the biggest reason why top Canadian health experts advocate for the usage of face coverings.
Medical Masks Have Now Become More Accessible
During the initial few weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak, medical supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE) had run scarce.
As the health departments in Canada and other countries were overwhelmed with the pandemic, it had become difficult for healthcare workers to access essential PPE, including but not limited to safety goggles, face shields, and face masks.
Now that the world has had some time to reel back from the initial effects of COVID-19, usual medical supplies have become easily available again. This also includes PPE that can be used by healthcare workers and the public alike.
As a result, buying a surgical mask has become a viable option for everyone. While institutions such as Health Canada initially recommended reusable cloth masks for the public, these masks’ accessibility makes them an ideal choice for many people.
These Masks Offer Sufficient Protection with Minimal Upkeep
While cloth masks can serve as a permanent purchase for anyone, they also come with stringent upkeep requirements. As such, you need to clean them regularly by either using a washing machine or combining soap and water with hand washing. This helps you make the most out of your expenditure on these masks. However, it also asks for extra effort from your end.
In contrast, surgical masks are disposable and intended for single-use purposes. As compared to the cotton fabric of non-medical facemasks, the synthetic fiber in surgical masks makes them more affordable for one-time usage. At the same time, it also makes it easier to discard these masks safely.
With that being said, the multi-layer design of surgical masks still ensures that they are effective in absorbing any respiratory droplets discharged by the wearer. This ensures that you can get the intended result out of wearing a surgical mask.
They Are Comfortable and Easy to Wear
Despite their affordability and minimal maintenance, surgical masks remain comfortable and easy to wear. Their lightweight material allows you to keep wearing them for hours on end without inflicting any harm on your breathing. This makes them on par with non-medical face coverings, which also do not affect your breathing negatively.
Unlike other medical masks such as the N-95 respirator, surgical masks do not require special fitting or sizes. They come in a universal fit, making sure that you can purchase them over the counter and start using them right away.
You need to make sure that your mask can cover your mouth and nose adequately while also being a snug fit on your face. This helps you serve the intended purpose of wearing a mask and helps you keep others safe from any inadvertent transmission of COVID-19.
They Are Available Through Multiple Retailers
A few months into the pandemic, Canada and many other countries, have flattened the curve. This has allowed healthcare facilities to be well prepared to handle COVID-19-related challenges.
This has also paved the way for equipment such as a surgical mask to be available through usual retailers. As a result, those who understand their responsibility to public health can easily purchase this protective equipment.
This particular feature has boosted the use of surgical masks, with the accessory becoming an essential item for almost everyone in 2020. If you want to do your part in curbing the spread of COVID-19, looking into the option is a highly practical choice to make.