It has been over a year since the beginning of this deadly pandemic, and no one can really claim that it has become better controlled or less contagious since the start of last year. We can say that it has taken more American lives than the entirety of World War II for the US. It has been a hardship that many of us have never experienced in our lives, one we hopefully won’t forget. There is a ray of hope though, at the end of this dark tunnel. While the disease has not slowed overmuch in the last 12 months, our understanding of Covid-19 is ever increasing, and our ability to combat the deadly virus is slowly reaching the point where we will change the statistics, the numbers in our favor. So it is important to not lose out hope, and to continue the practices that are going to protect us. This means washing our hands with soap and water whenever available, and maintaining a six foot social distance. Most importantly it means using the tools we have to protect ourselves, our families, our friends, and our neighbors. Tools like reusable cloth masks, single use surgical masks, and the nearly impenetrable n95 respiratory mask.
We have plenty of surgical masks, and cloth masks are reusable, so it is a smart idea for everybody to have one nowadays. What about n95 masks though? Why are they important, why do we need to be making them, here, now, and preferably in the U.S.A.? n95 masks aren’t for the average person. For the most part those who use n95 respirators are nurses, doctors, and other medical emergency personnel. So why is it so important to make sure they get a good supply, so that there is again never a time where a nurse could be forced to use another type of face covering during her work? These masks are so important because of how well they function. We the normal citizens will not be interacting with the clearly sick on a regular basis, so that means that we won’t have to worry about an increase to the amount of droplets and particles that we are exposed to. Nurses and doctors are being constantly coughed and sneezed on, and oftentimes have to swab the inside of a person’s mouth, further exposing themselves. In all these occasions, having a mask that blocks out 95% of particles, which includes bacteria, germs, and viruses gives the medical staff that use them, and those they later interact with, like their family and friends, the peace of mind to continue their good work.
N95 masks are vital to the continued work of doctors, nurses, EMTs, and others who risk their lives every day for us. That they are made from safe materials, and are manufactured to the highest possible standards is the only way to be sure that the protection they grant is viable and trustworthy, and the easiest way to achieve that is to make sure they are made here in the U.S.A. So the next time you see an emergency worker, a hospital physician, or a registered nurse, thank them for all their hard work and remember to Mask Up!