The rise of the face mask

Face masks are big news right now. It has become the symbol of the era of a pandemic – a visual metaphor for the invisible enemy that can lurk in every corner. Some choose to wear scarves wrapped around their faces, others make do with t-shirts pulled over their mouths. Others create colourful homemade varieties and the lucky ones have access to surgical masks or, more rarely, N95 respirators.

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Just a short while ago, public mask wearing would have looked odd in places where this was not the norm, they are now a reminder of the strange times we live in. And as governments around the world began to lighten their lockdowns to allow their citizens to blend in the wider world, more and more people are choosing to wear a mask in public.

A face mask can help to reduce transmission in the community, especially if used on public transport and inside areas where social distancing is impossible. For face masks, check out Respilon UK at a site like

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Studies have been published recently to look at the effectiveness of face masks in preventing the spread of the virus from an infected person. They found the standard surgical face mask is enough to greatly reduce the amount of virus escaping in a breath and/or a cough from an infected person suffering from different respiratory viruses, including mild coronavirus, influenza and rhinovirus that causes the common cold.