Unmasking the Mask Debate

I kid. In fact, this post will not be on whether masks are useful or not. Because we have ample evidence to show that masks, when used appropriately, reduces the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19). Instead, today I want to spend some time discussing what kinds of masks are effective, and what aren’t.

While medical ??? ????? are the most effective, these as well as medical surgical masks should be allocated to those in clinical and healthcare settings only.
?????? ????? – combining two layers of 600-thread count cotton paired with another material such as silk, chiffon or flannel are the next best. These filter 94% of small particles and 96% of larger particles.
??? ?????? of 600-thread count cotton are a close second, filtering out large particles effectively but not as effective in filtering out smaller particles.
What are ??? ?????????:
1- ???????, ????????: use these as a last resort if you are caught off-guard without a mask handy. They filter under 50% of large and small particles.
2- ?????????? ?????: These are masks that have a valve in the front. These masks do not filter air that you exhale, making them ineffective in reducing transmission.
3- ???? ???????: These unfortunately seem to convert large particles into smaller droplets, using this is actually worse than not having a mask on!
4- ??????? ????? ??????/???????: There is simply no point in this, it’s a complete waste of money. They do not protect yourself or others as droplets escape easily from all sides.
????? ?? ???? ???????????:
???? ???????: Not enough data to compare efficacy of wearing just a face shield vs a mask. These likely protect against direct large droplets, but will have no efficacy on smaller suspended in air particles. In airflow visualization studies, face shields were only able to block 68% of small particles. In addition, there exists a few case reports of infections in individuals wearing just a face shield.
Where face shields can help are for a double layer of protection in conjunction with a mask, ie ???? ???? ??? ???? ??????. In these situations, face shields protect against direct forceful expulsion of large particles, and are especially useful in protecting eyes.
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Unambiguous Science