By J. Swanson
There is no doubt we live in scary and challenging times. The pandemic has already killed 160,000 Americans, and counting, and infected millions more during what experts are calling the “greatest health crisis” of a century.
But the good news is that there’s an easy and effective way to help keep your loved ones safe. According to the CDC (and a growing body of research), cloth face masks have proven to be a “critical” tool in slowing the spread of the deadly virus. “We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a statement. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Who should wear a face mask?
The CDC recommends everybody 2 years of age or older should wear a cloth face mask or covering in public spaces. While many infected people experience coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, or other outward symptoms of COVID-19, others have proven to be asymptomatic carriers who don’t even realize they’re infected.
But even asymptomatic carriers can transmit this deadly contagion, which is easily spread via airborne droplets. As we continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus, health experts have concluded that face masks and coverings (when used in conjunction social distancing and regular hand washing) are the best tools we have to keep our family, neighbors, and community safe.
Where can I buy a face mask?
This growing scientific consensus has led GreaterGood to expand its selection of face masks and coverings, which are now available in range of styles, colors, patterns, and sizes across our network of online stores.
Pet lovers adore our classic variety of paw print designs, which offer a range from whimsical cats to happy owls to smiling dogs in adult and kid sizes. Other face masks feature cheerful, fair trade, and patriotic designs that marry comfort, safety, and style. Check out our full collection of face masks and coverings in our online stores.
How can I donate face masks for essential workers?
In addition to helping keep you and your family safe, most of our face masks also provide a free face mask for the medical professionals, nursing home staff, animal shelter staff and volunteers, and other other frontline heroes, in addition to funding your cause of choice.
Tragically, many essential employees are performing their life-saving work without medical-grade face masks and other protective gear, which remains in desperately short supply across the country.
This devastating need has led GreaterGood to team up with our suppliers to create and distribute 1 million face masks for these pandemic heroes, in addition to our regular commitment to the planet, pets, and people. Please shop for face masks and coverings designated with a “Gives a Mask” symbol if you’d like to help support this life-saving mission. Learn more about our Mask a Million Challenge here.
The best face masks for Covid-19
Even so, some face masks offer better protection than others. Disposable surgical masks (like the kind doctors wear in the hospital) protect the wearer and everyone in his or her immediate vicinity by creating a simple shield that helps prevent the spread of airborne droplets. However, this type of face mask is single-use only and must be regularly replaced in order to be effective.
N95 masks (named so because they filter out 95 percent of all airborne particles) offer the greatest levels of virus protection, but health experts have asked Americans to reserve this life-saving protective equipment for the doctors, nurses, and emergency responders working on the pandemic’s front lines.
This makes cloth face masks and coverings, which help by containing the droplets people typically spread when they sneeze, cough, or talk, the next best option. Experts suggest wearing a cloth face mask made of 100 percent cotton, polyester, or another tightly woven fabric, and finding a style that fits snugly on your face.
Although styles vary, most of our face masks are made with cotton, polyester, or another durable fabric, then upgraded with multiple cloth layers, filter pockets, elastic or adjustable ear straps, and/or removable carbon filters for added protection. Please visit our entire collection of face masks and coverings on our website.
The worst face masks for Covid-19
The CDC has warned that face masks with valves, although a popular option among construction workers, only offer one-way protection from the coronavirus. This is because they don’t include a mechanism to filter the wearer’s respiratory droplets, thus needlessly jeopardizing everyone around you. If your face mask has a valve, it’s time to upgrade stat.
Are face masks bad for the environment? Where can I find a sustainable face mask?
Most of our face masks and coverings are reusable and machine-washable to reduce pollution and landfill waste, thus simultaneously protecting the planet and people. If you purchase your face mask on The Rainforest Site, you’ll be helping us save endangered rainforest habitat, which is crucial to curbing global warming, climate change, and protecting the animals who call it home.
Should kids wear face masks?
Absolutely. Although some people falsely claim otherwise, children can contract and spread the coronavirus just like adults do, although they often recover more quickly. This isn’t always the case, though. In Georgia, a healthy 7-year-old boy died from COVID-19, just days after two six-year-olds died in Nebraska and Tennessee. It’s never been more important to teach your kids about the importance of regular hand washing, social distancing, and wearing face masks, which should be worn by children of 2 years and older. Fortunately, we have lots of fun options for kids and youth to help keep everyone safe during this difficult time.