1. Wearing a mask is the most effective way available to physically prevent the virus from getting into your body through air, and equally importantly, stop you spreading from speaking or even breathing, if you are infectious, but asymptomatic, thus protecting others as well.
Only if you wear the mask correctly! Watch this 1 minute video to learn how.
2. The covid-19 virus has the ability to survive suspended in air for a couple of hours in arid environments. It helps to be cautious in public indoor area.
3. Up to 80% of those infected may not have symptoms but may spread the virus. Wearing mask is effective to stop spreading.
4. It is recommended or required by many authorities in the world to wear mask when social distancing is not possible in shops, work and public transport.
5.Wearing mask is considered more as an affordable and convenient way to help to stop the spreading, save overburdened healthcare system, and potentially save lives of yours and others.
Please visit WHO's website for more answers about how to protect you and your family from Covid-19.
Do you need to wear masks?
- In East Asia – Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan/Hong Kong, wearing face mask is a norm when someone has flu or unwell – to stop spreading, or to combat the pollution and pollen. The authorities and science community in those countries consider it a necessity for everyone, not only for health workers, in fighting Covid-19, thus a requirement for public. CDC in US finally in March 2020 recommended public to wear face covering when there is a risk of human interaction. In Europe, eventually most countries including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, Austria, Czech and Slovakia, have made it compulsory to wear masks in public space such as public transport, shops and work places . ECDC (European CDC) has on a technical report dated on 08/04/2020 confirmed that “ The use of face masks in the community could be considered, especially when visiting busy, closed spaces, such as grocery stores, shopping centres, or when using public transport, etc. “
What is the science behind it?
Whilst there is no 100% conclusive clinical research on this subject, a recently widely quoted MIT lab simulation showed the droplets/aerosols from cough or sneeze can travel up to 8 meters vs the 2 meter social distance which was considered safe, and stay in air for a while, particularly indoor, such as public transport, shops and other public or private spaces. Covid-19 was believed to be transmitted from droplets from speaking, cough or sneeze. The surgical style masks can stop majority of those droplets at least and stop face touching.
Covid-19 has rapidly become a pandemic largely due to the fact that many of the infected have no symptom yet still infectious. This group could have become a large population, that might have been the main driver that more authorities changed positions towards public wearing masks. That may save many lives.
‘If the objective is to prevent the spread of the virus to other people, there is no option but to wear a mask’ – Kazunari Onishi – a professor at St Lukes International University in Tokyo.
Why some, albeit less and less, countries hesitated in advising for this at the beginning?
Some believe wearing mask incorrectly could cause secondary risk or false sense of security – but that is easily fixable – just by watching a YouTube video. The habit and culture where you are considered sick could also be a reason, or social stigma of being perceived as selfish. Many think the mask shortage is the main reason behind this, as most government want to leave masks to the healthcare workers. However, when many manufacturers ramp up the production worldwide, the mask become more available without affecting the medical supplies. In may 2020, it is very safe to say that the NHS supply will not be affected, at all, by general public wearing masks.
Who would need it?
Any essential worker, in particular customer facing, in supermarket, pharmacies, drivers, delivery drivers, warehouse and logistics and anyone needs human interactions;
Anyone who is self-isolation but living with someone;
Vulnerable – people in care homes, or anyone who is unwell but needs to interact with someone.
General public who might need to use public transport, go to shops, or walk in crowded areas.
If you live alone, or stay well ventilated or outdoors, without human interaction, you do not need to wear a mask.
What is the Intrigue Face Mask? and what kind of mask is good for me?
- It is a non-medical, single use, surgical style and look but not surgical mask.
- This mask is arguably better than the real surgical masks. As its PFE (Particulate Filtration Efficiency) – the most important measure in terms of filtration- is 90%, whereas surgical mask is subject to the requirement of BFE (Bacteria Filtration Efficiency) which measures bigger particles and usually only have an equivalent of 30%-60% for PFE, which measures upto 0.3 micron size.
- One important aspect for surgical mask- it is not designed to protect the person who wears it, thus this is not even regarded as PPE. It is designed to protect the patient from the surgeon.
- using quality 3 layers of non-woven and melt-blown fabric that is the similar as surgical masks. It has a PFE (Particle Filtration Efficiency) rate of 90% or above, and usually BFE (Bacteria Filtration Efficiency) rate of 95% or above although the BFE is usually not specified/required by standard for non-medical masks.
- The difference to surgical masks is it is non-sterile – obviously not that important as they are usually not used in operating theatre. Nowadays, health workers usually need FFP3(N99) or FFP2(N95) at least, and the surgical mask are really not enough in treating C19 patients based on PHE guidelines.
- Intrigue Face Mask proved sufficient for most ‘community’ protection, if you are not operating on a patient as a medical professional.
- This mask is the most commonly used mask in community, in the world, due to its effectiveness, comfort and cost.
- Most non-medical environment do not require N95/FFP2 or higher-grade masks, as they are much more expensive, and less comfortable to wear, and frankly, not needed in low risk environment. They should mostly be used by the medics when dealing with covid-19 patients.
Why Single use?
Some might be concerned by the disposable aspect that might affect the environment. Considering the vital importance of protection of lives, that is really a best practice to dispose the mask (carefully) once you might be exposed – anyhow, that is the reason you wear mask in the first place. Handling and storing masks might cause secondary contamination.