5 Advantages of Cloth Face Masks You Might Not Have Considered
One of the ways that our daily lives have changed thus far due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the “new normal” of wearing a face mask. This personal protective equipment is vital in preventing the entry into our nasal and oral passageways of respiratory droplets in the air that may be contaminated by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Likewise, it prevents you from actively spreading the virus through your respiratory droplets, in case you are the one who is sick. These are the main benefits of using an antimicrobial face mask wherever you may go.
The most common idea people have of a face mask is the surgical type of mask that we see doctors and other medical professionals wear. However, any type of face covering that is properly designed and constructed can serve as an effective face mask. It can be made of cloth, as long as there are multiple layers of fabric that can better prevent droplets in the air from reaching your nose and mouth. It should also fit snugly around your face, but not too tight that it restricts your ability to breathe or speak.
In fact, many people prefer wearing a cloth face mask over those surgical face masks or respirators that are meant for medical use. How come, you may ask? Here are some advantages of cloth face masks that you might not have considered yet.
Cloth Masks Tend to Be Very Comfortable
Since they are made of fabric, they feel just like any other piece of clothing that you wear on your body. Most cloth masks are also made of stretchy material so that they fit more naturally over your face. Some are designed like a tube that sits over your neck and that you simply pull up over your mouth and nose when needed. This eliminates the need for earloops that can cause those nasty marks across your cheeks and behind your ears. Most importantly, there are cloth face masks that are even reinforced with antimicrobial properties right within the fabric itself. This means pathogens are eliminated upon contact with the surface of the mask.
Cloth Masks Are Usually Sufficient for Non-Medical Professionals
Surgical face masks, and respirators more specifically, are indeed deliberately designed and manufactured to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets. They are specifically meant to be worn by workers in the medical setting, such as doctors and nurses who work in a hospital, or by patients who are recovering from infectious respiratory diseases. If you are not one of them, you may really have no need for such a strict level of protection. By going for a sturdy and well-designed cloth face mask, you can keep yourself protected while helping free up the demand for surgical face masks in places where they are needed most by medical professionals.
Cloth Masks Are More Discreet
That being said, wearing a surgical face mask in places other than a hospital may give you unwanted attention. It may make others around you feel uncomfortable because they might think you are gravely ill with a respiratory disease. Wearing a face mask made of cloth can help you blend into the crowd more easily and make you go about your daily tasks more confidently.
Cloth Masks Are More Stylish and Fun
On the other hand, if you are a clotheshorse and you relish the attention that your daily outfits give you, you can get the right kind of stares and compliments from other people by wearing colorful face masks made of fabric. They come in a multitude of colors and designs that will surely match any fashion ensemble. Fun face masks made of cloth are also a great idea for children to wear. Kids who are scared or intimidated to use face masks will surely have an easier time wearing them if they feature colorful designs of their favorite cartoon characters.
Cloth Masks Are More Eco-Friendly
Global environmental experts are now beginning to find out one of the unfortunate consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it comes in the form of discarded face masks that have made their way into dumpsites and waterways all across the globe. Did you know that a staggering 129 billion face masks are estimated to be used globally every month of the pandemic? It is therefore unsurprising that many of them will end up littering our planet. Thus, going for a reusable and washable face mask made of fabric can be your own little way of helping prevent more pollution.
While a lot of progress has been made in terms of lowering the cases of COVID-19 in recent months, we still have a long way to go before we can say that things are back to what they used to be before the pandemic. In the meantime, all of us have to do our part in continuing to abide by the prescribed health protocols of wearing a face mask, observing social distancing, and handwashing frequently. Options such as wearing a comfortable and stylish face mask made of cloth may make these habits a bit more easier to incorporate into your daily routine.