Should you be wearing a mask? Check out our reasons why you should.
Wearing nose and mouth covering masks in enclosed public spaces will probably be at least advised or at most (soon to be possibly) enforced to minimize the possible cross-infection of COVID-19 (SARS-NcoV-2) from airborne droplets and particles.
MIT has done a study and simulated the airborne particles of an infected person coughing in a supermarket; the particles spread throughout the whole store – it does not matter if the supposed person is pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic or showing signs of infection, the results are the same. Remember that the virus droplets are small enough with the protein ‘coated’ particles that adhere to dust particles and travel about are just 0.3 microns in size! For scale, a human hair is about 30 microns across (which is 100 times wider).
Being so small they are easily airborne and travel about freely; it is very easy to exhale the virus even if you are showing no symptoms, an unlikely passerby could breathe or inhale just a SINGLE virus particle – if the viral particles make it to the mucous membranes at the back of your throat through your nasal passages or mouth and are able to attach (or fit due to the spike proteins making up the ‘crown’ we all commonly know now) to a particular receptor in cells through the ACE-2 recptors, the genetic material inside then hijacks the metabolism of the cell, bonding with it and then injecting its RNA and starts multiplying within, after a short while, proteins will burst out of the infected cell then go on to infect other cells including red blood cells, as the virus multiplies the body is depleted of oxygen, in severe cases the onset of bilateral pneumonia is possible due to a build-up of dead cells, pus and mucus – if so much fluid build up in the lungs, no amount of specialized breathing assistance can help and the patient dies.
Other internal organs are also affected including the brain, gastrointestinal system, the virus actually hones in on the heart, the kidneys and liver and can cause direct damage to these organs, as the bodies immune system kicks in, the inflammation it creates can cause the organs to malfunction – it seems the kickback from the virus and as well it, itself, causes the immune system to also endure damage to the body.
It is really worth taking a little time and effort to minimize the risk of being infected with SARS-NcoV-2 (virus) that can then go on to advance to COVID-19 (disease) as you could end up very poorly or dead in some cases, especially if you have underlying health conditions.
Using a partial facial covering for the nose and mouth prevent those who have possible contracted the virus from spreading it further, minimizing the exhalation or droplets (onto surfaces) and particles in the air.
They also can go towards protecting the wearers of them from the inhalation of virus spores (coated proteins) – minimizing initial viral load (if you breathe in less virus proteins your body will have a better chance of fighting any possible outcome of this). There is also an ethicality aspect to protecting others around you with this simple gesture of wearing a mask (you could have it and not know for a couple of weeks and up to a month weeks until symptoms possibly show).
Simple partial facial coverings can be fashioned from scarfs or shawls, they can be made at home from fabric (in you now spare time) or purchased from Amazon.
There are many types of these online to choose from, there are the simple medical masks to (U.S.) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) N95 standard – the ‘95’ bit is in relation to the classification of air filtration meaning that it filters out 95% of airborne particles.
The (European) standard is EN149 with three categories of filter efficiency; namely FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3.
Just be wary about sellers claiming certain safety standards on their products when buying online, but, at the end of the day – wearing any mask (in enclosed spaces) is better than not doing so.
Be safe out there.