During the past year, flying has become scarier than ever.
Suddenly, your fear of heights has taken a backseat to a bigger fear: Coronavirus.
To no surprise, if you plan on flying with any major airline sometime soon, you will be required to wear a face mask.
In order to ease your anxiety and protect yourself and those around you, it’s important that you choose said mask wisely.
Thankfully, the choice is easy.
Which mask blocks the most particles?
We all know by now that COVID-19 is spread via airborne particles that are expelled from the nose and mouth of a sick person when they speak, sneeze, or cough.
Several studies have been conducted to test the efficiency of cloth face masks, disposable surgical masks, KN95s, and N95s in preventing this transmission.
Unfortunately, N95s are still being reserved for healthcare workers, and KN95 masks are risky given that they’re regulated by China.
This narrows your choices down to disposable surgical masks and cloth masks.
Disposable surgical masks
Studies have shown that the effectiveness of disposable masks in blocking microscopic COVID particles varies. These masks have been shown to block anywhere between 30% and 80% of all particles.
Unfortunately, as the name implies, they’re not to be used more than once. These masks also come with an expiration date, which means they’re not always the best candidate when buying in bulk.
Cloth face masks
With N95s, KN95s, and disposable masks off the table, your last option is cloth face masks. Fortunately, cloth masks offer some of the best protection on the market–blocking particles from traveling more than two inches from the mouth of the wearer.
This is especially significant given that particles can still travel over three feet with homemade masks and knock-off respirators, and eight feet without a mask.
The CDC recommends that the general public wear cloth face masks that consist of at least two layers in order to protect yourself and others. That being said, cloth face masks are the best masks to wear on a plane.
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