N95 masks are a vital part of the fight against Covid-19, where each time we can stop the virus from infecting a person, means that not only is that singular person healthy, but the person’s family, their friends and neighbors are also more safe, more secure. This is not a fight that is measured in miles, but in inches. So when it comes to what actions we can take in order to fight the deadly virus, we have to think in the long term. Wearing a mask and social distancing is a long term procedure, where each day we go without catching Covid-19 is a small victory. When those small victories are combined, they turn the tide. So what are some of the things that we can do to increase both our own awareness and the awareness of our friends and neighbors.
One of the big things to do is to make sure that your loved ones, your friends and family, know the risks and possibilities when it comes to Covid-19 and not taking this disease as seriously as it should be. Most people do, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Call them up on the phone, or make a Zoom meeting so that you can speak to them face to face. Talk to them about the precautions they are taking to protect themselves. Make sure to let them know that you are there if they want to talk.
Another piece to remember is that while it can be easy to simply keep a surgical mask or n95 mask in your car, using it whenever you have to go out and get something, it’s not particularly healthy. Surgical masks and n95 masks are not meant to be reusable, and while there are methods of making cleaning, decontaminating and reusing n95 masks, it is much safer to only use a mask once and then dispose of them. While masks are in short supply, single use masks are not going to be protective if they are handled more than once.
Finally, there is a choice between whether to use n95 and surgical masks in everyday situations, or to buy a reusable cloth mask for going out to restaurants and shopping. There are benefits to either choice. Well that would depend on the type of cloth mask you are using. On average, the best types of cloth masks are those with multiple layers, with which the material will be able to stop more droplets and therefore, more germs and bacteria. N95 masks are in short supply, where all possible masks are needed by healthcare professionals, so the best bet is to find a well made, multi layered cloth mask, and leave n95 masks for the doctors and nurses who need them most.
That said, if you want to help out, there are ways. You can help by donating money for the manufacture and distribution of n95 masks here on DocPPE. There are a lot of ways to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of Covid-19, so when it comes time to do your part, pick the right options for yourself and your family and always remember to Mask Up!