Coronavirus Masks – Will It Be Necessary in 2021

Updated on December 30, 2020

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It is no surprise that with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, respirator masks have become the new normal for everyone around the world. The coronavirus is getting ever stronger with the discovery and spread of new and powerful variants globally. And with this arises the most important question, will coronavirus masks be necessary in 2021? To the disappointment of many, the answer is yes. However, one must know precisely which mask they need to wear and where to find N95 masks for sale when stepping out in the apocalyptic world and to those who are unaware of this fact, this article is their knight in shining armour!

Respirator Masks – What are they exactly?

One must have seen people around them sporting different types of masks, leaving them bewildered as to what they should choose. Considering the current situations, it is safe to say that one should use respirator masks, preferably. However, many people are not sure what a respirator mask is. In simple words, a respirator mask is a facial filter that seals your nose and mouth so that it does not allow infectious airborne particles to make their way into the virus vulnerable territories. These face respirator masks are much more effective as compared to surgical masks. The respirator masks range from N95 respirator masks to KN95 respirator masks, both of which are cut from the same cloth.

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Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, other than the battle against the disease itself, there’s another ongoing feud as well. Although not that serious, the question of what the best mask is has stirred a lot of theories. Even though the N95 respirator mask and KN95 respirator mask are quite the same, both the respirator masks are slightly different. The most crucial difference is the standard of the respirator masks. The KN95 respirator mask is Chinese certified, whereas the N95 mask is the US certified. 

Despite blocking out almost the same amount of particles, the N95 respirator mask is comparatively more breathable than the KN95 respirator mask. The KN95 respirator mask is subjected to fit tests in pharmaceutical companies; however, this is not the case with the States’ N95 masks. But this procedure doesn’t affect the efficiency of any of the respirator masks. Usually, both the respirator masks are half face respirator masks. Both the respirator masks are equally effective. Even though customers tend to favour the N95 respirator mask, the KN95 respirator mask is technically the same. Hence it is probably a draw in the battlefield between both these masks.

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With the current global socio-economic situation, the days might be close when buying a respirator mask might cost an arm and a leg, no pun intended. And keeping that in mind many people don’t want to waste their respirator masks after one-time use only. But the most significant question mark that lingers over this issue is that is it safe to reuse a respirator mask and is it even reusable at all? The answer isn’t quite simple.

As suggested by the CDC, it is preferable to extend the use of a respirator mask but not reuse it as it accompanies many risks. The respirator mask has the potential of becoming contaminated and does not only makes one vulnerable to coronavirus but also puts them in jeopardy of catching other infections as well. 

Although it is possible to reuse a respirator mask, the procedures that make it safe are quite complex. Ranging from UV treatment to hydrogen peroxide vaporisation techniques to make the respirator masks reusable, it is safe to say that a layman should not reuse a respirator mask. The main reason for this is the inability of an average person to run these procedures for a single respirator mask for daily use. Though many other sources support reusing the mask by placing it in clean surroundings and leaving it for almost 70 hours, this idea is still not medically supported by a vast majority. Thus, to state an N95 respirator mask as a reusable N95 respirator mask might be considered ludicrous.

However, the game becomes a bit twisted here. Other than the KN95 respirator mask and the N95 respirator mask, certain masks are specially designed to be reusable. People can wear these reusable respirators with particulate filters, gas and vapour cartridges or combination of easily replaceable cartridges. Therefore, there is a type of reusable respirator masks as well, which do not risk the health of the subject.

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One must choose the right respirator mask for them. Although it is not the case of a match being made in heaven, one should keep in mind that a respirator mask can only function effectively when placed in suitable surroundings. Although a bit confusing, one may start assessing the amount of exposure they’ll go through when heading out. This may include examining whether they are in infectious surroundings, in crowded places or hazardous areas. 

Once the assessment is complete, one can choose the respirator mask to be worn. A unique number labelled on every mask represents the number of particles it filters out. When going out in normal circumstances, one can wear an N95 respirator mask or a p100 mask if they’re aiming for complete protection. When choosing a mask, one must ensure that these factors are well taken care of:

  • Masks must have an adjustable nosepiece which offers a perfect fit.
  • Disposable masks must have foam face seals which increase comfort and efficiency.
  • Masks must have exhalation valves which ensure comfortable breathability.
  • A non-disposable mask with sealing gaskets must be chosen for highly toxic particles.

With these factors in mind, one can choose the right respirator mask, whether it be a powered or a full-face mask depending upon the personal assessment of the surroundings.

In conclusion, with respirator masks becoming essential in daily life, it is equally critical to realise their correct use. As the current situation suggests, it won’t be wrong to say that respirator masks will be vital for 2021 as well.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.