With the recent drastic rise in COVID-19 cases in Victoria, the wearing of face masks has been made compulsory. All residents of metropolitan Melbourne are required to wear a face mask when they leave their homes. Those found without a face mask in public areas risk receiving a fine of $200.
Some questions that you might have now is what type of mask should I purchase? Which type of mask is the most effective in preventing the contraction of the virus? Or simply, where can I buy the cheapest masks? We know the process of buying a mask can be so mafan, so fret not! We are here to provide information and review the different types of masks for you to decide which is the best option for you.
Types of Masks
Disposable face masks include surgical masks. They typically fit loosely over the nose and mouth to protect against large droplets from coughs and sneezes. However, surgical masks do little to protect against smaller droplets. These are designed for single-use and reusing them over a long period could result in self-contamination. These are typically sold in most places now, including supermarkets and convenience stores. You can also order a pack of 50 from Chemist Warehouse.
Another type of disposable mask - Respirator masks include N95 and FFP2/3 masks. They form a seal around the nose and mouth and are designed with intertwined fibres to filter out airborne pathogens. If you're looking to get these, they can be found at Officeworks or Chemist Warehouse.
As disposable masks work on a single-use basis, the constant disposal of these masks can negatively impact the environment over time. A more eco-friendly alternative would be a reusable mask made out of fabrics such as cloth or cotton. Such face masks can be purchased, as more and more businesses are stepping up to produce them during these times. You can also make your very own reusable mask using fabrics found at home. Here are some online shops that you can purchase reusable masks from:
• St Ali
If you'd like to give making your own face mask a try, you can click here to watch a tutorial on how to do it. Ensure that your face mask complies with the following requirements:
• Able to cover both your nose and mouth
• Is secured with ties or ear loops
• Made out of several layers of fabric
• Allows for unrestricted breathing
Do also remember to wash your reusable masks after each use. Constantly reusing a mask without proper hygiene practices can cause you to fall sick.
Wearing your face mask properly is crucial in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Here are some important pointers to take note:
• Ensure that your mask covers both your nose and mouth. Covering only your mouth is not enough as you're still exposing yourself completely to air molecules that might be contaminated with the virus.
• When you remove your mask in public to eat or drink, avoid pulling it down to below your chin or neck area. The area of your body has been exposed and keeping your mask there contaminates it, posing a risk when you put your mask back on. Instead, remove your mask completely.
• As a whole, your mask should allow for unrestricted breathing, and it should not be too loose or too tight.
Be responsible and do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19!
Times are hard and unsettling, but if we all do our part, these times are sure to tide over quickly. If you're looking to get other items, Lockdown Essentials Australia is another site that you might want to check out as it provides various items you might need during this period. Do take care of your health and stay strong, fellow Singaporeans of Victoria.
by SHAHNEEZAR • edited by KIMBERLY PANG
I am currently in my final year of university and have been living in Melbourne since 2016. As an editor for SOV, I look forward to exploring my creativity through writing whilst adding value to the experiences of fellow Singaporeans in Melbourne. Some of my hobbies include singing and photography.