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October 24, 2020

Science Cast

Bridging the gap between Scientists and the Public

Are Cloth Masks doing more harm than good?

2 min read
Earlier on, people were preaching on how masks would help spread the disease faster only to find out later that the problem lied in educating the public on how to use the masks well. Months down the line, it seems that the bigger percentage still don't know how to handle a used mask. Does it mean its better to not wearing one, especially if one is mask-wearing illiterate?
serious young ethnic lady putting on medical mask on street

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

A test done by scientists revealed that wearing a surgical masks and N95 masks block most particles from being exhaled but cloth masks produce more particles as compare to a non-wearer of masks.

Just the other day, I engaged different people in the streets on Thika Town, Kenya, asking why they has a mask on. My conclusion was a mask is being treated as a panty. Most of us wear inner-wears because we were born in a society that wears them but we have no idea why we do. We tend to do stuff because its awkward not to. That’s sad.

“Walishapata pesa”, ‘Corona haijaikua Kenya. Navaa juu mwenzangu amekaa”. On inquring if the police no longer arrest them for not wearing and one was like “Huyo unampea hamsini anawachana na wewe.”

Responses on why Kenyans wear a mask

Some wear as sign of some sort of cleanliness and fashion forgetting that masks mainly protect the neighbour and not them.

A lot is yet to be understood about this Virus that has stopped reggae. So far it is said that the virus would probably be among the big particles produced when someone is breathing, talking, chewing gum, laughing etc.

Studies conducted in a lab showed that cloth prevented the big particles from being exhaled. However, they still allowed particles to pass through that included fibre particles used to make the masks. This makes me wonder of the possibility that I could and still will inhale a collection of fibre particles and make a real fashion centre in my dear lungs.

Earlier on, people were preaching on how masks would help spread the disease faster only to find out later that the problem lied in educating the public on how to use the masks well. Months down the line, it seems that the bigger percentage still don’t know how to handle a used mask. Does it mean its better to not wearing one, especially if one is mask-wearing illiterate?

Despite the new findings, cloth masks have been shown to reduce the rate of transmissions when compared to not having masks. Surgical and N95 masks are still leading in blocking over 90% of particles being exhaled.


Read more…

  1. Surgical, N95 masks block most particles, homemade cloth masks release their own
  2. Yes, face mask protection helps slow the spread of COVID-19

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