During this coronavirus outbreak, lot of confusion can be noticed with the face masks. Till now, it is not absolutely clear how COVID-19 virus is transmitted from a person to another. Initially, it has been heard that transmission is happening through respiratory droplets. Contaminated surface can be a reason behind the spread of disease also. Recently, it has been claimed by the scientists that Coronavirus can spread through air also. Therefore, it has been advised by World Health Organization as well as CDC to use a mask in public. It is certainly important to cover your mouth and nose especially. Protection to some extent can be offered in the process.
Respiratory droplets may be spread during coughing, sneezing, speaking and laughing. Droplet size can range between 0.1 microns to hundreds of microns. Human hair is about 75 microns. Droplet lesser 10 microns can travel through the respiratory passage. Droplets larger 10 microns are generally produced during coughing, speaking and sneezing. More amounts of viruses are carried on the occasion. However, it may drop easily on the ground also due to its large particles. It generally attaches itself to upper part of respiratory system.
If you wear a mask then there should not be a gap between your face and mask. Contamination may happen through these gaps. In addition, you must maintain a distance of 6 feet also in public. It is better to avoid proximity with another person as much as possible. Level of interaction must be limited as much as possible. In case of using a scarf, you must not add lots of layers as it can block the airflow. Unfiltered air may enter through the gaps also. Therefore, it is always better to go with a three layered masks.
For decontaminating the mask, it must be washed with a soap or detergent at regular intervals. It can be dried on bright sunlight. However, you can heat the mask at 60°- 70°C for about 10 minute to kill the virus and bacteria over the mask also.
Contamination can happen through physical surfaces also. Risk of contamination may be lesser than droplets. However, aerosol can remain in the air more than 2 hours.
- In case of a card board, it may stay active 24 hours
- On plastic and steel, virus stays for time
- In copper, virus may be alive for few hours as well.
Social distancing is being practiced all over the world. However, process of social isolation is not perfect at all. It is important to maintain social distancing rule everywhere with same seriousness. Otherwise, it may become very difficult to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Social isolation method must be stringent enough to reap result. Use of mask certainly offers a layer of protection without any doubt.