COVID-19 is considered to spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes without covering mouth and nose, or from coming into touch with a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
There’s some proof that Coronavirus may also be carried through much smaller airborne droplets in “particular circumstances and settings,” such as “aerosolizing” medical methods that cause the person to cough or spit, such as suctioning or intubation, as per WHO’s report.
When it comes to protecting yourself with the help of masks, this distinction between droplets and aerosolization is necessary, because surgical masks and homemade masks cannot prevent airborne transmission. At the same time, N95 respirators can help a little, and tightly knit cloth masks can do it a little better.
Surgical masks are loose-fitting single-use disposable masks that fold around the ears and cover the nose and mouth. As they don’t stick on the sides, they don’t protect from airborne viruses, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
N95 respirators have a different story — they are more protective because when used accurately, they are tight-fitting and filter out airborne particles. But, as per the CDC reports says, “these respirators are not used or needed outside of healthcare settings.”
According to some research, the cloth mask can be nearly effective as a proper N95 filter respirator but is still better than nothing. A study concluded that while homemade masks may not offer as much protection as surgical masks or N95s, particularly against tiny aerosols, they could be a lot better if crafted carefully with tightly knit fabric and multi-layered patterns. Cloth masks can reduce the transmissibility of viral particles by a significant amount and can be highly effective in protecting yourself from aerosols.
The CDC is now recommending that all Americans wear a cloth face mace. Many of the masks offered by Southern Sisters Designs also have the carbon filter that is replaceable as well: kids and adult sizes.