Corona-Covid-19 travel protection - disposable facemask vs fashion
Facemasks, or mouth masks, have been a hot topic and under discussion lately, especially the past few weeks since the corona lockdown has been lifted in many countries. The borders are being re-opened for tourists in countries throughout Europe where infection levels have decreased, as you could have read in my previous blog. And masks are required on public transport here in the Netherlands since the first of June.
Corona measures and regulations
In most countries one of the main covid-19 restrictions is still to wear a facemask in public, and to keep 1, 1,5 or 2 meters distance as much as possible, varying per country.
Luckily things throughout Europe are getting more back to normal and corona measures have been relaxed.
In the Netherlands we only have to wear a facemask on public transport and airports, and we can go out to restaurants and hotels again without wearing them. But in many countries the use of a mask in public places, mostly indoors is still required, so when traveling you need to make sure to have enough masks on hand.
Obligated mouth masks for traveling
I don’t mind wearing a facemask to help prevent corona infection, and to protect myself and others. Especially as a fervent traveler who loves to explore her own country, but is also still hoping to catch up on some of the postponed trips of the past months. Therefore I will be obligated to use masks the coming time and want to be prepared with the right quality.
Unfortunately there is a shortage of medical masks, and it’s a fact that the non-medical ones do not protect yourself 100% from the virus, especially when used incorrectly. Because of that the use of facemasks was discouraged at first, and were said to give people a false sense of security, and to encourage them to take risks by not keeping their distance anymore.
Use your mask correctly
But using something is always better to protect others from your aerosols, than using nothing. And even though it cannot fully protect yourself from infection, it will certainly help, required that you also keep the minimum 1,5 meters distance and use the mask correctly.
Therefore I feel that it’s very important to inform yourself how to use a mask in advance, and choose quality disposable facemasks. You can see how to use them correctly through this tutorial of the World Health Organization:
Fashionable versus hygienic facemask
Since hospitals and care workers need the medical masks the most, it’s accepted and advised to not use those. But there’s still a big difference between using a hygienic disposable mask, or a fabric fashionable, or ‘do it yourself facemask’.
As a fashion lover I did like those fashionable fabric masks at first, as they look quite trendy, but unfortunately it turns out using they can be risky too.
There have been recent studies which show that it can be harmful to wear a fabric or diy facemask for a longer period of time, as you can read in this Dutch article: Hoe-veilig-zijn-die-zelfgemaakte-mondkapjes-nou-eigenlijk?
Safety experts have indicated that some fabrics contain materials that can cause cancer. Consequently using these fashionable facemasks, or making your own can be harmful, especially when breathing in the wrong material for several hours.
What to consider when using a fabric mask
Therefore ask yourself the following before using a (fabric/fashionable) facemask:
Which material is used in the mask?
Is it an approved fabric for skin use?
Was the fabric woven correctly and is the material thick enough?
Does the mask have enough layers, including an effective filter material?
Of course it’s also nice if the material is comfortable and breathable😊
And make sure you don’t wear it for more than 3 hours at a time, or re-use it the same day, as the outside is not hygienic anymore and the mask has the be washed on 60 degrees without fabric softener every time.
That’s exactly why I prefer a disposable hygienic mask instead, despite its less fashionable appearance, cause for me safety absolutely comes first!
Unfortunately there have been quite some scams with supposedly reliable hygienic masks. Websites selling ‘approved certified masks’ for ridiculous prices, which proved not safe enough after all through several tests.
Reliable disposable hygienic facemasks
Fortunately I came in touch recently with a reliable website that offers disposable, yet affordable masks: CoolSafety.nl, as well as other professional protection materials for consumers. Before the crisis they mostly delivered business to business to construction companies, dentists, hospitals, schools and municipalities among others, which actually makes me trust them even more, as safety is their main priority.
They’re specialized in respiratory protection, and have 60 years of experience combined in the personal safety and protection products industry.
On their website a wide variety of products is available for all sorts of protection, and especially now, during this health crisis, they want to ensure that everyone can protect themselves in the safest way by keeping their prices low.
That’s why they offer hygienic disposable mouth masks per 10 for under €1 a piece, and in bigger quantities for even lower prices. I prefer the price and flexibility of the 50 piece box myself, and if you order now with my code "authenticchica" you even get 10% discount on your whole order when using this link: CoolSafety Facemasks
Tried & tested
I tested the mouthmasks myself and these were my findings:
With their 3 layers of professional material they should offer more protection than most masks,
but still made it easy to breath.
They felt as comfortable as possible, while staying dry for a longer period of time,
And stayed good while preventing moist from coming through for several hours.
See for yourself in this moisture test video:
Do note that these masks are not certified for medical use, which means other corona restrictions still apply when using them. The masks are disposable, so cannot be re-used, and will have to be replaced when wet, in general after 4-8 hours of use.
Also nice to know is that CoolSafety offers several other corona protection materials and disinfection gels on their website, and that there will be no VAT charged on facemask until the 1st of September for all Dutch deliveries.
Safety first, while reclaiming my freedom
Of course I’m no expert, but I am a mindful person, and stayed home for almost 10 weeks during the ‘flexible lockdown’ in the Netherlands to help flatten the curve. Now that the infections here are at an all-time low and we are finally allowed to go outside and travel again, I’m happy to reclaim my freedom in the safest way possible.
Since the use of a (medical) mask was discouraged by our government at first I researched this quite a bit. And of course I came to the conclusion that you can unfortunately never protect yourself fully when going out, as that’s always a risk while the virus still exists. But using a hygienic disposable mask is (in my opinion) the best option in trying to do so, while practicing the other advised restrictions as well.
The use of a disposable facemask to comply with corona regulations doesn’t have to be expensive now through CoolSafety! I hope you can use the information in this blog and my discount code for your purchase, to protect yourself as well as possible too. This way we can all travel and move around more again the coming months, while staying clear of covid-19, and keep the curve flattened.
*Disclaimer: I’m not an expert, and this blog was written in collaboration with CoolSafety, therefore it cannot be considered a professional medical advice. It does however still reflect my honest opinion based on personal testing and extensive research, as always.