How To Protect Yourself By Upgrading to a High Filtration Mask

Currently (22/02/2020) Australia has 8,700 registered new cases, while New Zealand has 14,941 new, and worldwide averaged 1,623,000 new cases per day over the last 7 days. (updated Mar 7 2022 – Australia has over 22,268 registered daily new cases, while New Zealand has 17,582 new cases reported)

Remember that early into the pandemic, wearing face masks was about protecting others, now with restrictions easing it’s more about protecting yourself as well as others. There’s no doubt about the science behind face masks; think of it as a gatekeeper for not contracting the virus.

By now, you must have lost count of the number of face masks you’ve used since the beginning of the pandemic. For a fact, the war on Coronavirus is far from over, especially with the mutation of the version first detected in China. Now, we have on our hands’ multiple variants emerging in England, South Africa, Brazil, Denmark and the United States. According to the World Health Organization, we have on our hands what is classified as a variant of concern. The Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Omicron, and Beta variants are all considered as variants of concern.

Beyond the labelling, we saw how the original Covid-19 virus brought the world to its knees. Now, we have new variants that are feared for their speed and damage of infection. We are now at a point where all the earlier double vaccines administered are not fully trusted to combat the new infections. There is a very compelling need for booster shots in already vaccinated individuals with 51% of Australians aged 16-plus having now received their third vaccination.

Revising your thoughts Towards Using a High Filtration Face Mask

“If everyone wore a high-quality mask for a fortnight, the outbreak would be over” – Professor Michael Baker MNZM is an epidemiologist with the University of Otago, New Zealand.

As the Omicron variants continues to infect millions of people at an unprecedented rate, there are many reasons why you should consider still wearing a face mask, as well as calls to reconsider what type of mask is most suitable for you in our new world of freedoms.

Even without restrictions, a growing number of Australian medical experts say people should be proactive in upgrading their face mask protection, especially on public transport and in places of high density of people when self-distancing is impossible.

Which Face Mask Best Protects You

In the words of Dr Paul Griffin, an infectious diseases specialist, opined that even though N95 masks offer protection, they are not intended for widespread use. At one time, we saw the United States Surgeon General asking that the public should stop buying the N95 face masks. He argued that they are ineffective in preventing the public from contracting the covid-19 virus. These masks are intended for healthcare professionals who have been trained in the correct use of the N95 respirators to provide care to sick patients.

According to an article by Harvard based Joseph G. Allen and David Christiani; “N95 masks are only able to protect health workers with the proper training on their usage and fitting. Invariably, the general populace without training are putting themselves in harm’s way using N95, KN95 or other similar face masks (Korean)”.

The position on the ineffectiveness of N95 masks was corroborated by a Brisbane-based data Scientist who sounded the warning on the inability of these types of masks in stopping Omicron and other variants of concern. He stated: “being aerosolized, Omicron can easily find its way into the N95 face masks”.

Surgical masks are also not designed to seal over your face, leaving room for half of the air containing pathogen ladened aerosols to find their way into your lungs and bloodstream.

Considering Infection Rates When Searching For A Better Protective High Filtration Mask

COVID is caught from expelled aerosols droplets from infected people that we come into contact within closed spaces such as public transport, cabs, movie theatres, or in any highly concentrated close contact areas like sporting or musical events where masks are not mandatory.

In general, the most important things you can do is to choose a mask that fits well, and wear it consistently and properly when it is recommended or in situations that you are required to do so. (John Hopkins Medicine)

How long will it take to contract coronavirus based on the type of mask you choose?

Infographic High Filtration MaskNo Mask: Without a face mask, a person is likely to contract the virus within 15 minutes if there’s an infected person within a 2 meter radius.

Cloth Masks: These have limited filtration capacity and are not made to fit tightly. Infection could take place in less than 30 minutes.

 Surgical masks: Do not seal over your face with around 50% of the incoming air not being filtered due to leakage. Infection takes around 60 minutes.   

N95 (KN95 China / FFP2 in Europe): Masks fit to the contours of your face, but the mask must be fitted correctly (professionally for medical use). However these masks become very uncomfortable when used for long periods of time.

The N95/KN95 masks consists of 4-5 non-woven and melt-blown polypropylene layers including a electrostatically charged polypropylene layer that can degrade when the mask is used. The N95 should never be washed. With a P2.0 filter, the mask is rated to 95% filtration efficiency. Infection potential period of around 25 hours.

Dr Paul Griffin, Mater Health’s infectious diseases director and one of Australia’s leading COVID-19 experts says N95 masks do provide more protection, but were not normally recommended for widespread use in the community because they are more expensive and challenging to wear. He also commented that if they’re (N95’s) not worn properly, some of that additional benefit is reduced, Dr Griffin says.

CleanShield Danish Premium Antimicrobial Type IIR Washable masks: offer a viable alternative to N95 having an excellent face seal with adjustable straps that provide a comfortable snug facial fit yet require little fit training. The CleanShield Danish designed filters are rated to 99.95% bacterial filtration efficiency’ with an infection potential of only 0.045%.

These masks are fully washable and lose very little efficiency over the life of the mask. The mask filtration system comprises of a titanium dioxide/silver nanoparticle antibacterial coating that destroys pathogens on the mask surface. The remaining filters comprise of an Activated Carbon filter, a German made Electrostatic filter, and a PM2.5 filter contributing to the masks Type IIR European rating.

The new Omicron BA.2 strain is widely considered far more stealthier and is now developing in Australia from overseas visitors which means the above infection timelines could potentially be more reduced further for Cloth and Surgical masks.

Brisbane-based data scientist Jeremy Howard, who in 2020 did the world’s largest review of evidence on face masks and the ability to stop aerosol spread of COVID-19, told The World Today that the evidence is evolving. “Ditch your cloth masks and also ditch your surgical masks,” he says.

Choosing The Best Masks For You

To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.

Whatever mask you choose, it should provide a good fit (i.e., fitting closely on the face without any gaps along the edges or around the nose) and be comfortable enough when worn properly (covering your nose and mouth) so that you can keep it on when you need to.

A mask or respirator will be less effective if it fits poorly or if you wear it improperly or take it off frequently. Individuals should consider their situation, workplace and other factors when choosing a mask or respirator for their protection.

Considering the options above, there is a viable alternative to N95 single-use mask; the CleanShield Washable Antimicrobial Type IIR Premium High Filtration Mask. While N95 filtration efficiency comes in at an excellent 95%, these facemasks or respirators still fail to filter around five percent (5.00%) of potential contaminated aerosols.  The CleanShield alternative has been proven to eliminate 99.95% bacterial and pathogens, as well as filtering out toxic gasses and other airborne fine impurities.

The difference is indeed evident when comparing a potential 5.00% infection gap with an N95 mask to the CleanShield Premium Antimicrobial Face Masks of 0.05%.

Key Takeaways

The Choice Is Yours

Regardless of the easing of the Covid-19 protocols and with the oncoming cold and flu season in Australia and New Zealand, experts encourage people (TIME video) to continue wearing masks. However, wearing just any masks is not enough, but choosing one potent enough to protect you is your choice.

We’re Still Not Done

In the new world with zero restrictions, from a practicable perspective, wearing a quality face mask will make a huge difference during our cold and flu season, especially when there’s a surprising volume of new Covid-19 cases going around.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there could possible be more dangerous variants to emerge. Please consider upgrading your face mask

With the right high filtration mask, there will be a reduction in how long we’ll live in constant fear of the virus. By failing to choose the right face masks, you are potentially endangering yourself and everyone around you.

Feel safe doing the things you love!

Where Can I See More Information About CleanShield Face Masks

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