Viruses are tiny particles; if you are infected, they exist in your body. Whenever you breathe out, speak, sing, sneeze, cough, or in any other way exhale, some of these particles may escape with the droplets leaving your body. A mask acts as a barrier, capturing a fraction of these droplets, while slowing the movement of the remaining ones. But how effective are they and what is the science behind them?

Let’s start with a very simple experiment that we have all had if we have ever experienced the cold: seeing your own breath as you breathe out. Your breath comes from inside your body, where it is close to your own core temperature: 37 ° C (98.6 ° F). Your breath contains a mixture of various gases, dominated by nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor. The latter is extremely important for two reasons. First, when you breathe out in the cold, the gases you breathe out start to come into contact with the environment, causing them to cool down quickly. When water vapor cools below a certain threshold – the dew point – it changes phase from gas to liquid, allowing you to see it. But the second reason is vital to understanding viral transmission: water droplets allow the transmission of viral particles from one person to another.

Principle Behind Mask

There’s growing evidence that masks do work in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Masks works in a very simple way by capturing the virus-containing droplets we emit when we speak, cough, or sneeze.

Although the principle behind masks is a simple one, they’re a very important part of containing the disease. Experts say they work best when we all cooperate and wear them.

The sole purpose of wearing a mask is to reduce the viral load that you are likely to transmit and receive from another person. The main scientific theory is that the droplets created when we cough, sneeze, sing, talk, etc., are the primary means by which the new coronavirus is spread from person to person. It is currently being investigated whether other mechanisms, such as aerosol particles, can also transmit the virus. Although the World Health Organization has stated that these droplets can travel up to 1 meter (3.3 feet), studies all support the idea that the droplets travel much further than that. MIT researchers have found that droplets expelled by an infected individual can travel up to 8 meters (26 feet), and the largest meta-analysis of COVID-19 transmission found that continuing to increase your physical distance by 1 additional meter significantly reduced the infection rate.


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