Author Options:

To use a mask or to not use a mask these days - and which one? Answered

If you are in asia then you might be quite used to wearing face masks.
In other parts of the world this seems to be a totally new concept for most.
So before I go into too much detail, let me try to to explain why you should wear a mask or why not.

Reasons to wear a mask:
1. You are sick, e.g coughing, sneezing...
2. You have people with a compromised immune system in the household.
3. You work in a high risk environment, like a hospital or have frequent customer contact.
4. You have to go somewhere with too many people and risk factors, like shopping.

Reasons not to wear a mask:
1. You are fit, healthy and follow the STAY AT HOME thing.
2. You don't really get close to other people - agai doing the right thing.
3. Every mask you buy is one mask lees for those who really need one, like doctors and nurses!

It is common sense really...
Unless you are in a risk group or have to enter one the only reason to wear a mask is to protect others ifyou are sick.
And since you should be home and stay home it comes down to protecting those in your household.

Now wen it comes to filter masks there is a lot of confusion out there.
Everyone is running for P2 or N95 masks.
Seems no one knows there are actually even higher protection levels available....
But what is realy required to keep a virus inside the mask if you are sick or outside the mask if you are in a high risk environment?
You can look up how these N95 or N100 filters work...
Basically the air has to pass through very fine holes - keeps fine dust out.
Then it has to get trapped in long and winding fibres - causes turbulences and traps finer particles.
Last but least electrostatic filtration.
Here a charged layer attracts whatever is till going through - which really isn't much anymore.
Especially this last filtration step explains why you can't really wash or otherwise sterilise these filters.

What about washable masks?
Buyer beware is what I say as you no longer get what you paid for!
Washable masks not only need to offer enough filter power but also tolerate being washed again, again and then some more times.
Most you can buy now are simple fabric ones with high claims and no gains.
Good for working with a grinder if you don't want the iron dust in your lungs but most won't keep a virus out.
Only buy masks that come with a real and proper certification!

Making you own mask?
There is tutorials from many linics and health organisations availble!
Use them!
Don't be fooled by the first hit you find Youtube, go for a real clinic and for something that as actually tested and used.
Like the Montana Mask by the Billings Foundations, which is aimed on providing a proper fit while doubling your remaining filter mask supplies - look up Montana Maks or go directly to www.makethemasks.com .

Why can wearing a mask actually do you more harm than any good?
Unless you really know what you are doing chances are your mask leaks badly.
Any air not being filtered is a risk for you or other people.
Proper fitting and making sure it stays on is a must!
And that is the problem already...
People want a quick snack, drink or smoke - the mask comes off.
So why did you put it on you said?
Now you have contaminated the insde by exposing it to whatever lands on it - from there right back on your face.
Not just that though...
You got an itch under the mask? Great job for scratching you again rendered the mask useless and placed yourself in danger.
Without a mask you might not get the itch, without the mask you wouldn't have to worry about doing everything by the book...
And without you using a mask for no good reaso someone how needs a mask to save lifes might not have one...
It takes will and persistence to leave the mask on and ntouched until you are in a place where it issafe to take it off and dispose it.
Before you put a mask on ask yourself if you can really keep in on and your hands off your face....


The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.

12 months ago

It doesn't matter you are sick or not. Wearing a mask is always good.
By the way, thanks for sharing this...


Reply 12 months ago

I just wish everyone filling the supermarkets would think that way....

Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

1 year ago

In your list of "Reasons to wear a mask:," I think there is a motivation you have overlooked.

5. Wearing a mask in order to fool others into thinking you are complying with the "good idea" of wearing a mask.

Consider for the moment, that I am not actually worried about protecting myself from virus particles. Or perhaps what would be more shocking, is supposing I am totally NOT concerned about protecting others either.

In that case, the mask does not have to be effective, either in protecting me, or in protecting others.

Moreover there are fewer worries about obsessing over how clean the mask is, or frequently throwing away "dirty" ones, because the mask merely has to be clean enough for the sake of other people seeing it.

Essentially I am writing about wearing a mask, or mask and gloves, as a form of virtue signaling.


Of course this kind of signaling fails when it is interpreted as insincere. Fortunately the mask makes it harder for people to see the smirk on my face. Although I guess I still have to be careful about my tone of voice, and of course, rolling my eyes.



Reply 1 year ago

I intentionally left the fooling part out as I already see tons of people wih makeshift masks that are nothing but a fashion statement without any filtering qualities.
Thing is that too many people in the western world neither have a clue how to use a mask, nor a clue about the purpose of wearing a mask.

Take nurses, doctors and other health workers.
In AU they can only wear a face mask for a max of 4 hours, after that a new one must be used.
People down here know these limits and think they can use them to their advantage.
Like this:
"4 hours in a high risk environment, so I am fine using for 8 hours wherever I am."
"Single use only, but hey, I am wearing gloves and know how to get it on and off without contaminating it."
"Says washable, so I wash it when I think it is dirty."
What really gets me though are all those people running around with a mask all day (the same mask) to protect themself.
But then they sit with the mates for the lunch break and eat, drink and all wihtout the mask.
Since all this is soooo stressful they also go for a smoke 20 times a shift - without the mask.
I bet over 70% of people wearing a mask for pure personal reasons have no benefit from a mask at all....