It certainly never hurts to have a couple of extra face masks on hand in case viruses such as the Coronavirus get out of control. Preppers have been adding them to their stashes, and they may help to prevent a viral infection.
With all the news of the Coronavirus’ rapid spread around the globe, it’s important to know how to protect yourself if this gets out of hand. While officials still don’t exactly know how this virus is spreading, they are making the assumption that it’s airborne, meaning when you breathe in a virus that is in particles or droplets in the air. The following list should help you understand what you are buying and the differences. All can be effective at helping to prevent the contraction of the deadly airborne viral infection.
- N100 Respirator – These respirators are designed to fit tightly around the nose and mouth, and, when worn correctly, block out at least 99.97% of small airborne particles. These are lightweight and easy to wear for long periods of time. While some are disposable, others are reusable. It’s your personal preference here. Choose what will work for you. These masks are selling out quickly as news of the Coronavirus continues to worsen. These will offer the most superior protection. The 3M 8233 N100 Disposable Respirator With Cool Flow Exhalation Valve offers the highest level of protection and is virtually leak-proof.
- N99 Respirator – These will block out 99% of airborne particles. That makes them slightly less effective. I was able to find this one, which is washable and reusable for less than $20.
- N95 Respirator – These will only block out 95% of the airborne particles. By comparison, you have a slightly higher chance of still getting sick when using this by comparison to an N100 or N99 mask. But they are still better than nothing, especially if the SHTF! These appear to be selling out almost as quickly as the N100 respirators.
- Surgical Masks – These aren’t as comfortable to wear, but in a pinch, they can lower your chances of contracting the virus. Surgical masks don’t fit tightly around the mouth and nose leaving space for infected particles or droplets to get in. They do, however, provide some protection, mostly as a barrier. These can still be picked up for a pretty inexpensive price, however, they appear to be selling out too.
None of these will offer you a 100% guarantee that you won’t get sick, but there is something else you can do as well. Some say the masks aren’t necessary, but something else is: washing your hands very well. Use hot water and soap and make sure you lather for at least 20 seconds to remove viruses and bacteria from your hands. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you’ve washed your hands thoroughly. You can also boost your immune system with some vitamin C and try to make sure you are getting adequate vitamin D.