We are asked to stay at home but we need to go to the market. It is unclear how much the variety of available masks will protect you from an infected person but it certainly improves your chances of remaining uninfected.
Disposable masks block particles. N95 masks are more tightly fitting and at this point need to be limited in use to the medical setting.
Both of these masks could potentially help protect you from getting a viral infection, but some US government officials have emphasized that the American public should not purchase face masks to prevent themselves from getting infected. Still, masks have been used by many for protection.
Some interesting links:
Contains guidance from the FDA, not all of which is accurate; AKA “and the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low”
Can we use expired gowns and surgical masks? Do they offer the protection needed?
These products were designed to serve as protective barriers and thus FDA believes they may still offer some protection even when they are used beyond the manufacturer’s designated shelf life or expiration date. The user should visibly inspect the product prior to use and if there are concerns (such as degraded materials or visible tears) the product should be discarded. As a conventional capacity strategy, expired products may be used for training and demonstration purposes where barrier protection is not needed.
Please note: This website is a draft and is still under review. Any medical claims on this site should not be taken as fact and we do not claim to know more than any health professionals. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please contact your doctor.