How We Can Help During Covid-19
It's March 2020. COVID-19 is sweeping the globe. Besides taking care of the infected and protecting our families, everyone is trying to do their part in slowing the spread. We practice social distancing, wash our hands and stay at home. We are taking all the precautions recommended by the CDC.
However, the medical community now believes that wearing masks can slow the spread. Especially since so many people going out in public don't even know if they even have the virus. They could be inadvertently infecting others. However, we need to save the N95 and surgical masks for the hospitals. So, what can we do? We can wear cloth masks. This can slow the spread. Here is what we know:
First, you have to understand the enemy: COVID-19. The Harvard Medical School explains that the coronavirus (aka COVID-19) is thought to spread mainly from person to person. This happens between people who are in close contact with one another. Droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, or possibly be inhaled into their lungs. The coronavirus can also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. For example, a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
So, what does COVID-19 look like?
Scientists have concluded that the smallest particles are 0.06 microns, and the largest are 0.14 microns. This means that the coronavirus particles are smaller than PM2.5 particles (air pollution), but bigger than some dust particles and gases. You can't see it, but, the bottom line is that the coronavirus is super small, 500 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. This is why people say, "The coronavirus is too small to stop and masks are so thin. They can't stop the particles."
However, The University of Edinburgh tested particles 10 times smaller than the coronavirus. They found that a cotton handkerchief blocked 28% of the particles.
This is how we can help slow the spread. We wear masks. Everyone should wear masks. Masks can help.
Look at China, it has become the norm to wear masks. Yet, in the U.S., wearing a face mask is discouraged. The U.S. government, in line with World Health Organization recommendations, says only those who are sick, or their caregivers, should wear masks. A tweet from Surgeon General Jerome Adamst:
“Seriously people - STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”
However, that is not the case. Now the U.S. government is hiring companies like KILOGEAR CUT to manufacture cloth masks. The N95 mask is the best option. They block (95%) a higher percentage of particles. The next best option are surgical masks. They block 80%. Since they are all sold out, our only options are cloth masks.
So, how good are cloth masks?
Scientists from the University of Cambridge studied the effectiveness of cloth masks after the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. Researchers asked volunteers to make their own masks. They performed a fit test to test how well they could capture particles down to 0.02 microns and compared the masks against surgical masks.
The cloth masks captured 50% of 0.02-1 micron particles, compared with 80% for the surgical mask. Although the surgical masks captured 30% more particles, the cloth masks did surprisingly well. Researchers concluded that cloth masks would be better than no mask at all.
Another research group out of the Netherlands also tested cloth masks. Their cloth mask study captured 60% of the 0.02 – 1 micron particles. Surgical masks and N95 masks still captured more particles, however, the data showed that wearing cloth masks was far better than not wearing a mask at all.
In another study, researchers tested the longevity of wearing the masks. They tested the effectiveness after people had worn the cloth mask for 3 hours. Results showed that moisture and time had very little impact on the effectiveness. Cloth masks captured 5.8% more virus-sized particles after 3 hours.
At the end of the day, all of these studies show that it is better to wear a mask than to not wear a mask at all. Ideally, everyone should be wearing masks, not just doctors and nurses to slow the spread. The KILOGEAR CUT masks are designed better than DIY masks in the sense that we have included two layers of fabric, compared to the cloth masks with just one layer. We have also included a pocket for you to insert a charcoal filter for added protection. Our masks are washable and comfortable. We cannot prevent you from getting any virus. All we can do is make a cloth mask as an option for you to wear as added protection.