Non-medical masks have been the most controversial PPE in the COVID-19 pandemic. The debate’s continued at the highest levels on the benefits of wearing face masks.
For weeks, Canada’s public health refused to recommend face masks. Then, without any warning – and potentially relating to contradicting evidence – public health officials reversed their recommendation and now recommend all Canadians to wear face masks.
Which face masks are the safest – that changes depending on who you ask. There are a lot of different masks out there including standard non-medical masks, N95 masks, KN95 masks, and plastic face shields as well. An argument can be made for all of these masks and their advantages.
- Non-medical face masks are effective against COVID-19, very affordable, and can be purchased in bulk. The downside is that they are easily worn through and have to be replaced often.
- KN95 face masks are high quality though more expensive. They are near-identical to popular N95 masks but don’t necessarily provide additional protection above non-medical face masks.
- Plastic face shields are worn in healthcare settings as well as by other frontline workers, surrounding one’s face with a protective barrier that doesn’t obstruct view.
Disposable face masks, in any variety, shouldn’t replace social distancing two metres apart, washing hands with soap and water, and using hand sanitizer. If you’re uncertain about what masks are safest to wear, you want your mask to do some specific things.
- A face mask should let you breathe easy.
- It should fit securely to your head, ideally up and around the ears.
- Reusable face masks should maintain their shape through washing and disinfecting.
- A face mask should be changed whenever it becomes damp, dirty, or contaminated.
- It should not require frequent adjustment and feel comfortable when worn.
- A face mask should cover the nose and mouth without gaping, acting as a seal.
You also don’t want to wear any face mask that’s being shared with others, which is impairing your vision or interfering with your day-to-day, be made of non-breathable materials, or be improperly secured such as with tape or other inappropriate materials.
What’s for sure is that the number of places requiring you to wear face masks is going up. Healthcare facilities, some grocery stores, pharmacies, boarding a plane, or going to Starbucks either strongly recommend or mandate every person on their premises to wear a disposable or reusable mask.
While the number of face masks in Canada out is increasing, they are still very difficult to find. Lierre.ca and other online retailers are offering disposable face masks in bulk packages for families, individuals, and Canadians everywhere. There’s no better place to shop face masks. Online’s where to look. You won’t find them in very many places being sold at such a price point. Visit Lierre.ca for all your COVID-19 face masks, hand sanitizers, and more.