Are you wearing a face mask that’s actually protecting you?
As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, how its spread, and what things can protect us from getting and spreading the virus, it is becoming apparent that many mask wearers aren’t wearing masks that provide them with optimal protection.
Whether you’re vaxed or not, research has proven that the KN95 face mask is one that provides a higher level of protection and is more effective at trapping harmful particles.
“Unlike cloth masks, high-quality masks – called N95s, KN95s and Kf24s – are made with layers of high-tech filtering material that trap at least 94 to 95 percent of the most risky particles,” reports the New York Times.
Following the spike in COVID-19 cases nationwide, President Biden has created a plan to provide free KN95 face masks to everyone in the country. According to CNBC, the N95 national stockpile has “more than tripled” which makes the plan to distribute masks to everyone in the country possible.
There are a few ways to test if your mask is providing you with adequate protection. If you’re able to blow out a candle while wearing your mask or face covering, it isn’t providing you with good protection. Your mask should also be able to hold water without it leaking. If it isn’t able to, it isn’t providing you with much protection.
As good as it is to wear a mask to protect yourself and others, the type of mask you wear is equally important. If you’re concerned about how much protection your mask is actually providing, you should be performing the above tests, buying masks from reliable suppliers, and doing your own further research to ensure that you’re staying as safe and protected as possible. In addition to that, be proactive and double up on the mask that you are wearing until you can get a mask that offers better protection.
Besides masking up, remember to wash your hands often, practice social distancing and if you haven’t already, get vaxed and get your booster.
By Cierra Lemott, Sophomore, Columbia College Chicago
Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak