Best one I have found are made by…Smug (terrible name I know). However, they fit well, are very comfortable and have a bendable bar in nose section so you can fit them to your nose and don’t steam up glasses
The best I’ve found - & I use the ‘best’ word advisedly - are made by Enter the Complex, Gmbh, they are made from a double layer fabric that forms a pocket for a paper filter, they tie around the back of the head & neck (not around the back of yer bendy out ears), they fit high on the nose bridge & glasses fit naturally over the mask fabric thereby preventing misting (thats according to Mrs Mike) & lots of colours to choose for the fashion conscious.
I think the first consideration should be what you expect the mask to achieve. I would say that the vast majority of masks out there are doing little or nothing to protect the wearer (or worse, lulling them into a false sense of security and thus increasing their risk) as they do not create a vapour proof seal over the mouth and nose. Many designs are not intended to achieve this. What they are doing is preventing you, if you are infected, from spreading it as far if you cough or sneeze.
In a work environment, protection from vapours requires the use of a P3 rated mask (sometimes referred to as FFP3) and if you are hoping to protect yourself I would suggest you use a mask with this rating (not P1 or P2). In a workplace you would also be expected to have a fit test to ensure that the model of mask provides an effective seal over your face.
There are some Chinese made KN95 masks available that don’t have European approval for use by medical staff, but are still reasonably protective for general use (in enclosed spaces where low viral load is expected). Being KN95 (which requires a face seal) and non-valved, they are protective for both the wearer and other people in the vicinity (assuming they are fitted and worn correctly).
As they do not have any European (or US / other American) medical rating they are not taking precious resources away from medical staff in severely affected areas.
As you say, the masks protect others from you, rather than vice versa. Mrs HH has run up quite a few on the sewing machine from our boys’ old explorer scout shirts, and some brighter ones from duvet covers, with thin black elastic to go behind our ears. They are hardly hospital grade but it seems unnecessary to use new material and plastic just to wear them in the shops. The idea of disposable masks for non medical use is pretty outrageous really, especially when you see them dropped as litter.
I’m sure it’s true that if we all start wearing P3 masks, the supply for those that need them most would dry up. I had loads of them that I had accumulated for work over the years, so I gave most of the disposable ones to a local care home.
What concerns me is that if people are wearing a mask because they are surrounded by others who aren’t wearing them, they are getting little or no protection from many of the masks that are out there.
The Covid virus is spread by person to person contact. You breathe on someone or you touch someone you have spread the virus. Simple to use a mask and keep a distance from people. Just do it.
Wearing a mask isn’t for your protection, its to protect those you may breathe over.
(Exception is those who are trained and masked for close contact work - health professionals)
I love wearing my mask!
Mad? Maybe, but allow me to explain.
Back in May when it looked like the upcoming plan was to decree we should all wear masks Mrs Boxed-In dusted off her sewing machine and made a couple of masks from old pillow cases, mine is a rather fetching shade of lilac and hers is a more purple(ish) hue. I declared them a hit and feeling flushed with success she thought that No 1 son may want one or two too, so we both donned our new masks, I grabbed my baseball cap, took a selfie and fired it off for approval. No 1 son said yes and also forwarded the photo to a couple of his friends.
I should point out that my wife and I are both on the wrong side of 60 and Boxed-In junior is on the right side of 30.
A short while later I get an email from junior with a quote from one of his friends:-
“Good colour choice Hey? Also why does your dad look like he’s literally 20?”
Needless to say I was over the moon, Mrs Boxed-In rather less so.
So, top tip, wear a home made mask and a baseball cap, it works wonders.
Transmission is by air and surface and as yet we still don’t know which is the dominant means of transmission. Less than a year in this really isn’t a surprise.
As of now we also don’t know whether airborne transmission is by large or small droplets or what viral load is significant.
Masks are a sensible precaution for the protection of others but if, as is now being entertained, airborne transmission is by both types of droplet then masks are meaningless when it comes to the small droplets which hang around in the air at height for a considerable length of time. Equally transmission by large droplets creates a role for masks but the reality of such transmission - sneezing, coughing, talking, singing etc. - is that the correct social distancing is then around 8m without a mask and about 4m with.
I’ve been locked down and working from home with family since March and I’m pleased to say have had no need of a mask. I get an hours walk in circles on my local small green and beyond that I’ve been off road on my bike for 30 minutes or so a few times and had a lift to North Wales to see my parents for the first time since Boxing Day once we were permitted to cross the border.
This scenario appears to be my life now until at least January 2021. Having observed a horrendous lack of social distancing at public transport hubs and in shops and hospitals (mostly by staff) I’m quite content to stay where I am.
If forced to add something to my face it would undoubtedly be this.