The facemask has turned hi-tech
We are now under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila, but are still mandated to wear masks.
Though Pinoys were never really mask wearers like the Japanese, when the pandemic started in late January people started rushing out to get surgical masks, and those with a little more to spend bought the N95 masks, which were the best protection at the time, especially if you were a hospital frontliner.
To recap, last April, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced in The Philippine STAR that for better protection against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Malacañang ordered all those living in areas under Enhanced Community Quarantine to wear facemasks or other forms of protective equipment when they went out to buy essential items.
In addition to the strict home quarantine and social-distancing policies, Nograles encouraged the public to follow the guidelines on the wearing of facemasks.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) position on wearing facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic was that people over 60 and those with underlying medical conditions should wear a medical-grade mask when they were out in public and could not socially distance.
The WHO only updated their position on mask wearing in June, advising that in areas with widespread transmission, all people working in clinical areas of a health facility should wear medical masks, not just workers dealing with COVID-19 patients.
In areas with community transmission, the WHO now advises that members of the general public aged 60 and older and those with underlying conditions should wear a medical mask in situations where physical distancing is not possible.
The general public should wear non-medical masks where there is widespread transmission and when physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport, in shops or in other confined or crowded spaces.
Must wear mask
Although opinions in the Philippines may differ, wearing a mask has become mandatory in this part of the world. So, what kind of mask should we wear? I wonder as I scan Instagram, Facebook and the Internet about new masks offered and what tech protection they offer. I guess a lot of it depends on what kind of person you are and what kind of protection you are looking for.
I must say that there are many masks made of different fabrics in three or four layers with a pocket for a filter (tissue is okay) that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and will protect if social distancing and hand-washing are religiously followed.
Here are a few of the latest hi-tech masks that have the best qualities in them for protection.
LyFy Hepa respirator mask
What would it be like to wear a mask that lets you breathe purified air? Well, the LyFy mask has that cut out for you. It is equipped with a portable ventilating air-filtration respirator with PM 2.5 Hepa filter, fan battery pack and respiratory facemask. It has a unique large-circulation power-ventilation system and continuous air supply: an axial flow fan is used that rotates 1,650 times per minute so that the clean air passing through the filter element can be accelerated and conveyed without stopping. Its 3D mask fits the face comfortably. The outer contour fits tightly to the face, prevents dirty air from entering, and makes each breath clean and fresh. Just adjust the nose clips, press the edges, fix both sides of the easy-to-release nose wings, and effectively isolate polluted air. It comes with a separate air pump that is rechargeable and can be worn on the arm. Check out https://lyfy.co/ for price and availability.
Philips-Blaise Fresh Air Next Gen N95
You might decide that a mask that will let you breathe like the Philips-Blaise Fresh Air Next Gen N95 is the one you need. The mask is made with a module customized by Japanese NIDEC Technology that produces filtered and fresher air to breathe in. This, along with the design of the mask, greatly reduce exhalation resistance and improve breathing comfort. The motor has three levels of air filter settings. And when the battery level is low, it can be powered up with a USB cable. There are two layers in the mask: a replaceable N95 mask filter and a washable outer shell. The turbo fan on the mask can be easily removed from the layers when you need to change the filter.The mask sports an ergonomic design with a 3D V-shape to make it comfortable to wear. It fits snugly on the bridge of the nose, cheeks, and ears and the straps are adjustable for maximum comfort. The Philips-Blaise N95 mask is available for over P10,000 last time I checked. Visit Nextgen.com or cocochic.ph on IG for availability and price.
The Cambridge Mask
The Cambridge Mask uses military-grade filtration technology to filter out nearly 100 percent of particulate pollution and gases, as well as bacteria and viruses in a fashion-friendly mask suitable for the whole family. Cambridge masks have been independently tested by Nelson Labs, USA, which confirmed that almost 100 percent of particulate pollution, bacteria and viruses were successfully filtered when tested. The masks use a triple-layer filter system, which will protect you from a range of airborne contaminants. The first layer catches larger pollution particles such as dust and PM10 (microscopic particles of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air), followed by the Three-Ply Micro Particulate Filter, which stops nearly 100 percent of smaller particulate matter. The inner filtration layer is made from a 100-percent-pure activated carbon cloth. This mask is quite fashionable as in comes in a variety of designs for adults and kids. Check out @cocochic.ph on IG for price.
The O2 Curve respirator has a unique, performance-oriented modular design. The front shell optimizes protection and airflow, while the ergonomic, medical-grade silicone seal fits most face shapes and is facial hair-compatible. The adjustable strap accommodates a comfortable and versatile fit. O2 Canada electrostatic filters are charged with pockets of both negative and positive ions. These ions attract, trap and neutralize small particles. They efficiently filter particles at 0.1 microns and larger. The highly effective filter traps mechanical pollutants found in the air, as well as bacteria and diseases. Based on average usage, the filter can last up to two weeks. Pick from a variety of shell colors to create a look that’s right for you. The shells snap on and off to make it easy, giving you options to personalize your look. Check out @dadapatricio on IG for price.