As summer is in full swing, it is probably time to look back on the past year and figure out what went wrong and what to do next. For some things, there was nothing we could have really done better than what actually happened, like the expediency and veracity of the common vaccines on the market, or the way that they were distributed throughout the country. Then there are gray areas where people may be unsure what is supposed to happen now, or what could have been done better so that there isn’t a horrible repeat of the events of 2020 and early 2021. So, as a way to organize these questions, here are a few of the most important, and most frequently asked questions on masks and respirators, not including n95 masks.
N95 masks are considered one of the most important pieces of Personal Protective Equipment available on the market today, but that does not mean there is no place for other types of masks and protective facewear. Surgical masks, cloth masks, and various ways to keep your mouth and nose clean of germs and bacteria all have a place in the system, and all have their own uses. One of the biggest questions asked is that if n95 masks are considered so much better at keeping out particulates, why then are other masks useful and the answer depends on the type of mask you are referring to. For example, while surgical masks don’t have the protective punch of n95 masks, they are much easier, faster, and cheaper to manufacture, which means that in times of crisis, they can be delivered around the nation much easier. Cloth masks are easier to maintain, where n95 masks and surgical masks are one use only, cloth masks can be washed and dried and used again and again, which became a vital feature to saving n95 masks for use by medical professionals. Both masks are made to be used quickly and work in most conventional settings, where n95 masks are for times when the protection you need is a bit more serious. Another big concern though is what will happen when the next pandemic hits, because at that point there might also be a crisis which will result in a shortage of masks and other supplies.
Well, as much as this was a problem in America, it can be traced back to the locations of where these masks were manufactured, which was outside the United States. All fine and well in a time of conventional medical needs, but during a crisis, this can lead to a serious lack of supplies as countries naturally look to their own citizens first before others. With masks and other PPE now being made in American-based businesses by American hands, this problem will only continue to be a problem if we let it. By buying American-made we can ensure that our own factories and production centers have the ability and capacity to keep up with needs. Masks and other Personal Protective Equipment are vital to our continued safety and security, and there are no better ways to ensure that safety than to handle the manufacture of our own equipment, rather than have it being shipped in on boats and planes.