There are four main types of COVID face masks that are available for people to wear. Depending on your budget and what you’re doing, you can choose the mask that works best for you.
Disposable surgical mask
Though they were hard to get at the beginning of the pandemic, these masks are now easy to find by the bundle at drugstores or supermarkets. They fit over your nose and mouth and prevent your droplets from diffusing into the surrounding areas. That means they will protect others in your vicinity from catching the virus from you. If you’re COVID positive, hospitals and health clinics will usually have you wear one. Since they’re disposable, they usually get grungy and gross after a few uses, especially if you’re sweating in them.
Reusable cloth mask
If you want a face mask to keep in the car or your purse for grocery runs and other errands, reusable cloth masks are a good option. Make sure to wash them and try not to touch the outside too much. These will save you money in the long-run compared to disposable masks. They’re better for the environment, too. Plus, you can find cloth masks with fun designs to fit your personality by doing a quick Google search.
Scarf or bandana
A scarf or a bandana over your nose and mouth will work to decrease the spread of your air droplets. While these aren’t as effective as actual face masks, having some form of face covering is still better than having no face covering at all. Plus, if you already have this kind of garment at home, you won’t have to go out and buy one.
N95 or N99 masks
These masks protect you from inhaling droplets, but they don’t filter the air that you exhale. That means that they are no more effective in protecting the people around you than a regular surgical mask. N95 and N99 masks should be used by those who are working closely with coronavirus patients and are exposed to high levels of the virus. Some people, who are negative, may also choose to wear these masks when traveling through hotspot city airports.