We wanted to speak with an expert to see what someone in the medical community thought of our masks. We were able to speak with Boston MD, Avik Chatterjee, (Harvard and UNC- Chapel Hill). Here are some excerpts from our conversation with Dr. Chatterjee.
Would you recommend these masks?
I think they are great, it is important to note, when wearing masks, they don't have to be medical grade, certainly not N-95 masks. Cloth based masks do the trick of protecting respiratory droplets from spreading while not taking away resources from doctors, nurses and first responders who need medical grade masks.
What do you think these masks are best used for?
-These masks are best used for any errands that people have to run in public spaces, such as groceries, pharmacies, or going for a walk with your family during this time. More than anything else, they should be used to protect other people. Specifically, these masks keep any of your respiratory droplets away from other people.
When is it an appropriate time to wear a mask?
Any time you are going out of the house, and spaces where you are going to be within 6 ft of people, shopping would be the most common but other vital errands as well such as the post office. Any time you cannot practice social distancing you should be wearing a mask.
What are the best things most people can do to protect themselves and others from Covid-19?
Stay at home. This means you are decreasing the chance that you or a family member will contract a virus. Given that so many cases are asymptomatic it is important to minimize and eliminate contact with people the best you can.
However, when you have to leave the house, as it is sometimes necessary, wearing a mask is a good way to reduce the risk of the virus spreading, particularly in the case of people who do not have any symptoms.
What do you plan on doing with the donated masks?
We already gave some to staff (nurses and other staff) for home settings, residents and guests in the homeless shelters and programs for when they go out. While they are homeless they might need to go out to do errands and things and having masks is beneficial for protecting both them and the community.