There are a variety of face masks on the market to be used as protection against the COVID-19 coronavirus. Protectly.co stocks a range of these, from simple surgical masks, to the more highly protective N95 masks. If you have been following the news in 2020, you will have seen that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment, especially the N95 respirator masks. This meant that even for those who are desperately in need of good-quality PPE, such as the nurses and doctors caring for COVID-19 patients, it could be very difficult to find the N95 masks that they require.
You may be wondering: in a time of a shortage, what can I use instead of N95 masks, so that the N95 masks can be reserved for higher-risk people and healthcare professionals?
There are several options on the market right now, and it can definitely be hard to know which one is right for you – so let us make that easier for you by listing the options.
Firstly, there are the popularly-available cloth masks which are more fashionable. These can provide some protection against the virus, but as they are more of an everyday fashion piece, the protection they provide is not standardized. In comparison, N95 masks guarantee to protect against 95% of airborne particles. However, these cloth masks do fill the gap in the market for more “everyday” PPE for low-risk environments or getting out of the house without contacting other people.
Another different mask option which alleviates the pressure put on N95 suppliers are medical masks, also called surgical masks. These are the typical blue-and-white face masks that you are likely to see worn by doctors and nurses prior to the pandemic. Although they provide less protection than the N95 masks, they are of a medical standard and are suitable for wear by most members of the public. Surgical masks can also filter out other bacteria, pollen and pollutants, so they are overall a good protective item to wear. If they are worn correctly (covering the nose and mouth) and replaced regularly, they will provide sufficient protection for the general public against the novel coronavirus.
Another option instead of N95 masks during the time of shortage are KN95 respirators. You may be wondering: what is the difference? KN95 masks are almost identical to N95 masks; they are a Chinese version so are not certified by NIOSH in the US. While they are not NIOSH-certified, they are of a similar standard and are cheaper and more readily available than N95 masks in these times. Protectly stocks a range of KN95 masks which are authentic and of good quality. If you are at a high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus or may be exposed to people who have it, a KN95 mask is a good option.
So, while N95 masks may be the most desirable face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic due to their high filtration rate and level of protection provided, it may not always be possible to get one due to the shortage. And, sometimes it can be better to leave the N95 masks so that they can be accessed by healthcare professionals. There are good alternatives available in the market to alleviate the pressure on N95 producers, as long as you do your research and make sure you are accessing high-quality gear.
Protectly stocks a range of surgical masks, 100% authentic NIOSH-certified N95 masks, and KN95 masks – so whatever you think may be right for you, we will have it available.