The Case for Universal Masks vs the Case for Face Filtering Masks

Today no one can live on planet earth without being bombarded with TMI (too much information), usually opinion, on the pandemic. COVID-19 has dominated our landscape and impacted every single life. Whether you were deemed an essential worker or you were forced into self-isolation, no one escaped the effects of the virus. Our world is opening up now and many are pushing for a return to normal. But let me ask you this: Will the normal ever be normal again?

Not yet, at any rate. Stores and restaurants may open, but will those with disposable income shop or dine in? Can owners operate with a profit margin when restrictions are imposed on how many they can serve? Going forward, certain things must be accepted. First and foremost, yes, we need to open the economy, doing it in a safe way. Has the virus disappeared? No, sadly, it hasn’t. Continuing outbreaks will be manifested as restrictions are loosened, but prior strategies must be re-evaluated.

We already know long term isolation is not workable, either for the healthy or the vulnerable. We must find a way to return the country to prior levels of productivity while still protecting those we cherish. If we as a society are unwilling to protect the elderly and those with underlying conditions, let us at least furnish them with their own personal protection. Cloth masks are not protecting them from the droplets of infected people, nor are surgical masks, designed to protect an open wound from a professional’s own droplets during a procedure. N95 or KN95 masks represent the only solution for protecting the vulnerable.

Universal masking, accepted in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, has become the new frontline in viral warfare. It is the gold standard in many countries who warded off the virus and kept their economies afloat. If everyone wore a mask the virus would soon run out of hosts. If everyone wore a mask catching their own droplets, others would be protected.

Is that likely to happen in the United States? Sadly, no. Due to the steady release of unfolding information and the positive elements of containment, some mistake our contagion levels with a dismissal of just how deadly the threat remains. Some envision conspiracy and foment rebellion, urging others into reckless behavior. In a democracy like ours, the likelihood of universal masking is rather low. We aren’t in the habit of respecting other’s opinions, even those of virologists and public health experts. Many eschew the obvious and demand the right to do as they please. This means it is incumbent upon each of us to self-protect ourselves or our loved ones with a face filtering mask of sufficient quality.

This is especially true in looking at our most vulnerable. If we, as a society, are unwilling to protect the elderly and those with underlying conditions, let us at least furnish them with personal protection. Cloth masks are not protecting them from the droplets of infected people, nor will surgical masks, designed to protect an open wound from one’s own droplets during a procedure. Face filtering masks are required for the vulnerable to be safe in the midst of a pandemic.

We at Ecohealth KC offer these masks for general consumption. Yes, we sell them to professionals and hospitals, but we are also committed to you, our friends and neighbors. We want you to be safe out there. Contact us with your needs, questions and concerns, and let us be of assistance.