In light of the fact that the Omicron winter wave is starting to significantly take its toll throughout Australia, everyone here is keen to take precautions against the virus and make an effort to stop its further spread. Citizens are being asked by their respective governments to start wearing face masks once again.
Since it has been quite some time since we have seen widespread adoption of these pandemic artifacts, this brings up an essential issue. In 2022, would wearing a surgical mask or a P2 mask provide the greatest level of protection from COVID for oneself, one’s family, and one’s community? Let’s get into more detail about these two different kinds of face covers.
You may not be familiar with the term “P2 mask,” but chances are good that you’ve seen someone wearing one before. It is a kind of respirator mask that is somewhat similar to the N95 and KN95 masks in both appearance and functionality. The P2 mask is simply the standard for these types of P2 masks in Australia, whereas the N95 mask is the standard in the United States and the KN95 mask is the norm in China.
Here you can find a comprehensive explanation of the various mask styles. The most important thing to take away from this is that all three masks block between 94 and 95% of particles and are commonly regarded as the most effective face coverings for protecting against the Omicron type.
Comparing the effectiveness of surgical and P2 masks
When it comes to determining which kind of face mask is ideal for you, the most crucial element to take into consideration is probably how efficient it is in preventing the spread of COVID. This is something that we can probably all agree on. Click here to read about Why use a P2 mask?
There are a number of similarities between surgical masks and P2 masks. Both of them are constructed out of three layers of melt-blown polypropylene, each of which has an electrostatic charge that serves to collect dust and other particles.
However, what sets P2 masks in Australia apart from other types of face protection is its snug-fitting shape. This indicates that they give protection that is more extensive than that offered by surgical masks.
The following is a condensed version of what the OzSage Community Respirator and Mask Update Working Group have to say on the subject: “Surgical masks do not seal around the face as respirators do, so the wearer must breathe in unfiltered air through the spaces around the mask. This is in contrast to respirators, which allow filtered air to be breathed in through the mask material itself. These microscopic particles that may carry a virus are removed by respirators.”
The superior performance of a P2 mask over its surgical relative is mostly attributable to its superior fit.
Surgical versus P2 masks: Reusability
Both surgical masks and P2 masks are single-use devices that are most often seen in hospital settings. These conditions make them ideal for usage. Surgical masks should be thought of as single-use items when they are intended for usage by the general population. After being used for the first time, a surgical mask will have a significantly diminished level of efficacy.
When it comes to P2 masks, many experts agree that the general public is permitted to reuse them several times before disposing of them. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States describes how healthcare professionals may reuse respirator masks by first placing them in a paper bag and then waiting at least a few days before using them again.
After being stored for this amount of time, the masks will no longer pose a risk of transmitting the coronavirus and may be used again. the coronavirus is thought to be able to live for up to 72 hours. It is absolutely appropriate for members of the general public to use this strategy in their day-to-day lives, despite the fact that this strategy is only implemented during times of scarcity in the medical field.
Surgical versus P2 masks: Cost
In most cases, surgical masks may be purchased for far less money than P2 masks. When purchased in quantity, P2 masks may be had for between $1 and $3 per mask, however, the price of surgical masks can drop to far below $1 per mask when purchased in large quantities.
Having said that, the fact that P2 masks may be reused in the manner described before indicates that the answer to this issue is not as straightforward as one would expect. Depending on how much you buy P2 masks online, it would only need to be reused a few times before it would be a better value proposition than a surgical mask. This is true even if you just use the mask once.
When it comes down to it, the answer to the issue of which kind of mask is more costly will change depending on the circumstances. In any event, the higher effectiveness of P2 masks ought to make it easier to justify spending a little bit more money on them.
Surgical versus P2 masks: A focus on the simplicity of operation and comfort
Unfortunately, the close-fitting form of P2 masks, which is what makes them a more effective choice than surgical masks, may also make them somewhat less pleasant to wear. This is a trade-off that is unavoidable. However, putting on a respirator is not even close to being the most difficult thing that the epidemic has forced us to do, and the positive effects on our health are indisputable.
The Final Verdict
There isn’t much room for dispute on this topic given that P2 masks are superior to surgical masks in terms of their ability to filter out particles, are reusable, and in many instances are less expensive. P2 masks are without a doubt the most effective protection against the rising incidence of COVID.
Plus, the goal is to stay safe. So, in a COVID situation, P2 masks are your best option. You can also read about COVID-19: Prevention and risks by visiting https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html