COVID-19 is spread through airborne particles that expel from the nose and/or mouth of a sick person when they sneeze, cough, or talk. Given this information, it’s important to understand how to protect yourself and others from airborne illnesses like the Coronavirus.
In a recent WebMD article, aerosol scientist Kimberly Prather, PhD stated that the airborne factor is what makes COVID-19 so contagious. The reason why this virus has spread so rapidly, even in ventilated buildings and on cruise ships, is because of the aerosol particles.
What are aerosol particles?
Aerosol particles are microscopic, airborne droplets that float freely through the air and can travel for many feet–and even miles. Many respiratory viruses are spread via aerosol transmission, including the flu and the virus that causes SARS.
Prather stated that people can catch COVID-19 simply by breathing in these particles, and because of this, masks are extremely helpful in halting this transmission.
Why is COVID-19 so contagious?
Anthony Fauci, MD, at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed why so many churches saw major outbreaks prior to the lockdown. He described the amount of aerosol and droplets that people expel from their mouths when singing as “scary”.
These droplets are loaded with viral particles that quickly fall to the ground or land on nearby surfaces. When they land, they are still considerably wet and sticky. Given these factors, and studies of respiratory droplets from the 1930s, specialists highly recommend social distancing at least 6 feet apart from other people.
In the nearly 100 years since those studies were conducted, science has become much more developed. Instruments have been created that allow us to see these microscopic aerosols, and medicine is evolving at a rapid pace.
How wearing a cloth mask can help
Prather has observed that aerosol particles can accumulate and remain infectious in indoor air for hours on end, allowing for easy inhalation into the lungs. She stated that given this observation, standing 6 feet apart will not suffice, and emphasizes the importance of wearing masks in public.
To drive home her point, she highlighted Taiwan’s incredible success in stopping the spread of the virus. With only 7 deaths and a few hundred cases, the country tamped down the spread without a lockdown. They did this by requiring face masks, quarantining people who tested positive for 2 weeks, and aggressively testing citizens.
Prather said that she wears her mask both indoors and outdoors, as long as she’s in a place where other people are present, because aerosol particles can spread as far as the smell of a barbecue or cigarette smoke.
A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health concluded that a cloth face mask that fits your face can be just as effective as a surgical mask when it comes to blocking the virus. If the mask does not fit your face, however, it will leave gaps where aerosol particles can flow in–rendering it ineffective.
Given this information, it’s simply not safe for your students or employees to return to work without cloth face masks. At Quality Face Wear, our masks are specially crafted to fit your face snugly and comfortably with no gaps. Help keep the curve flattened and contact us today to buy cloth face masks in bulk!