The Use of Mask
Dr. Syahrizal Syarif
In an effort to prevent and control infections at hospitals, medical personnel are very concerned about self-protection so as not to contract the patients being treated.
They are required to wash hands properly and use personal protective equipment in accordance with actions they will take. If they have to take action that can create aerosol conditions such as suction, intubation or bronchoscopy, obviously they must use complete personal protection equipment in the form of an N95 mask that can withstand very small particles of about 0.03 um, headgear, protective eyewear, gloves, apron, boots. When they interview a suspected patient, then they keep a distance of 1 meter and simply wear a medical mask (surgical mask that can withstand particles of 5 um) and the patient also wears the same medical mask.
So, both N95 and medical masks are indeed designed for medical personnel to get protected from the patient’s droplet splash. A patient who sneezes can expel 40,000 droplets while a patient who talks for 5 minutes can expel 3,000 droplets. The droplet size is in range of 0.5 – 12 um. Therefore, it is very important for those who are sick to wear masks.
For people, the best is to stay home. In case it is urgent to leave home, for example to buy some family basic needs, the best option is wearing a cloth mask.
Of course, people have to pay attention to the distance from other people, mainly on public transports, bus or online motorcycle taxi. Providing a seating distance and queue distance while in front of the cashier is necessary.
Like medical masks, cloth masks should also consist of three layers. The outer layer should be water-repellent or dense fabric fibers. The second layer can be a fine filter cloth. Likewise the third layer. It is better if tissue paper is inserted between the second and third layer to absorb water. This cloth mask is used once a day for 4-5 hours, after that, it is soaked in soapy water-dried in the sun-ironed before using it again.
Cloth mask is effective enough for people to use to prevent infection. To stay home is certainly better.
Let’s use cloth masks so that medical masks are really only for medical personnel and those in need, for example for post-chemotherapy patients, so that current prices can go low. Using cloth masks is our contribution in preventing and tackling the COVID-19.