The invasion of coronavirus and the delay of vaccines are the few challenges in the current day situation. The only escape is social distancing, face masks, and hand hygiene. Face mask as advised by WHO can be used either for protection of healthy persons (worn to protect oneself when in contact with an infected individual) or for source control (worn by an infected individual to prevent onward transmission)
The history goes back to 7000 BC when the mask was first originated and was used for rituals and ceremonies. Masks are objects that cover the face for a variety of reasons. They have been used for protection, disguise, entertainment, or ritual and social practices. Face masks were also a breakthrough in containing the spread when the Spanish flu broke out 100 years ago. Literature evidence has proved masks had declined the hospitalizations and casualties.
There is an interesting fact to quote from ancient Indian religion, Monks belonging to one of the sect (Jainism) in India covered their mouth to safeguard organisms present in the air. They did not want to harm the tiny organisms which could be killed while talking. This analogy is comparable to the phase of coronavirus crisis, wherein we are required to follow social distancing and cover our face and mouth with the mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19. So, its time to embrace rituals of Ancient India and make efficient use of this provisional vaccine ( Face mask).
There are study models of research conducted in Harvard and Sydney for the population in New York. The results were very conclusive and beneficial on showing if 70% of people wore an effective professional mask every time they moved outdoors, the pandemic could be eliminated from the city.
The masks have become permanent fixtures ever since the COVID outbreak. The only issue is the blowing market full of masks sellers and buyers. Every day, every hour a new brand mask is coming with an advertisement to our inboxes. The chaos of corona has muddled our minds and made us indecisive to choose the right kind of mask.
The doctrine of the application of a face mask is very simple. The idea is to wear a clean mask. Mask should cover the face and mouth completely with a snug fit to avoid any particles to seep through. The mask should be worn and removed following complete hand hygiene to avoid contamination. The outer surface of the mask should never be touched. There are fabric and non-fabric (medical) masks. The revised guidelines by WHO suggest that everyone should wear fabric masks (non-medical) in public. Fabric masks should contain a minimum of three layers up to five layers of cotton preferably for better filtration. In the areas of widespread transmission, medical masks should be worn by all to contain the spread. Health care and frontline workers are advised to wear- N-95 masks or the surgical mask for complete protection. The medical mask provides a good source of protection to all and is disposable with cost affordable to every pocket. Whereas fabric mask needs to be washed with soap and water every single use and dried well.
There are many risks associated with the improper application of a face mask.
One needs to be prudent while usage of the face mask. It should not be used as a fashion fiesta but definitely for self-protection as a guardian. The false sense of protection by mask needs to be overruled. Its always well said, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. To ward off the VIRUS, only I and U can break the chain.