Facemasks: Why Wear Them?
Americans are increasingly embracing the use of face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Many states (Including many areas in our home state of Ohio) have made it mandatory to wear facemasks in restaurants, stores, and other crowded public spaces. Facemasks are becoming the new normal and Progress Essentials is ready to rise to the needs of our customers by providing safe and affordable masks for everyone. But first, we wanted to push aside politics and personal opinions and get to the bottom of why we wear facemasks.
What are facemasks?
It might seem like a simple question, but there are actually many different types of facemasks:
You may have heard of N95 masks online or on the news. These masks are made of very fine mesh which allows them to filter out extremely small particles. This makes them the most effective at preventing viral spread, but also means they are the most expensive and the most uncomfortable to wear. More importantly, the CDC states that these masks “…are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders,” and therefore should be reserved for such essential purposes.
Disposable 3-ply Masks
Disposable masks, like the Progress 3-Ply Facemask, protect the wearer with multiple layers of specially designed material which helps to effectively prevent respiratory droplet transmission. These types of masks offer a balance of cost, protection, and availability. They can be safely disposed of to prevent contamination from multiple wearings.
Reusable Cloth Masks
Cloth masks are a broad category consisting of everything from fashion masks to homemade masks made from t-shirts. In general, the denser the weave of the cloth, the better it is at catching respiratory droplets before they are released into the air. These masks tend to be comfortable, but sacrifice protection over surgical style masks which are designed to catch respiratory droplets.
How do facemasks slow the spread of disease?
As you probably know, COVID-19 is highly contagious. It spreads easily between people in close contact. Like many viruses, the virus spreads mainly through something called respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets are tiny droplets of mucus which are cast into the air when a person coughs, sneezes, laughs, or raises their voice. These invisible droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of people within a 6 foot distance or be inhaled directly into the lungs, where the virus can multiply and cause infection.
Luckily, facemasks can catch most of the respiratory droplets that are produced before they have a chance to travel through the air ad infect someone. This is especially helpful in crowded public settings when chances of infection are much higher and proper social distancing is hard to maintain.
Why Should you wear a facemask?
Most importantly, wearing a facemask will help to prevent you from spreading the virus to others or others from spreading the virus to you. This is especially crucial because many people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic, and therefore might be able to spread the virus without even showing signs of sickness.
Since close contact with other people makes virus transmission much more likely, wearing masks in grocery stores and restaurants is now required in many states. In stores it is often hard to maintain a 6-foot distance at all times, making an additional level of protection a good idea. This also helps to protect workers who frequently come into close contact with other people, such as waitstaff and grocery store clerks.
Finally, wearing a facemask in public areas can help keep those who are most vulnerable safe. The elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are at a much higher risk for severe illness. Widespread wearing of facemasks and following other preventative guidelines such as frequent handwashing and social distancing can minimize the chance of high-risk individuals catching the virus.
Where can I get Facemasks?
Whether you are making a simple trip to the grocery store or preparing to return to college or work during these uncertain times, we’ve got you (and your face!) covered. Make sure to follow Progress Essentials on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/progressppe) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/progresstcp/) to stay up to date on our latest product launches. Let’s move forward together!
For complete info and updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website: https://www.cdc.gov/