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Protect Yourself Better by Upgrading Your Mask

It’s Time to Upgrade Your Face Mask

The Philippines is now at a “critical stage” after reaching three million COVID-19 cases. Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces have experienced severe outbreaks as the country continues to grapple with the infectous Omicron variant.

With COVID-19 variants wreaking havoc, how do we protect ourselves from this pandemic? One thing’s for sure, it’s time to upgrade your face mask.


How do I choose the right mask?

In many places around the word, upgraded face masks are the norm. Experts say that cloth and surgical masks are not enough to protect you from the COVID-19 variants. Aerosol expert and atmospheric chemist Kimberly Prather emphasizes that, “A good mask is the most important defense we have.”

Parther also said that the factors to consider in an effective face mask are filtration, fit, and comfort.  With these standards in mind, here are the types of face masks you can choose from, now that we are facing the even more contagious Omicron variant.

An example of an N95 Respirator.

Image credit: FDA

  • N95 Face Mask / Respirator – This is considered to be the US gold standard for their ability to filter 95% of very small particles that are 0.3 microns in size and are the first choice of protection against airborne pathogens.

    N95s are described by the US Food and Drug Administration as “designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles.”


An example of a KN95 mask.

Image credit: NBC News

  • KN95 Face Mask – Deemed the Chinese equivalent to N95, the KN95 “are made of the same synthetic material and filter out and capture 95 percent of particles in the air.”

If however, you can’t get your hands on either N95 or KN95, here are some suggestions to consider when choosing your face mask.

  • There should be two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric which completely cover your nose and mouth.
  • It should fit snugly against the sides of your face and not have gaps.
  • It should have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the face mask.
  • It should NOT have exhalation valves or vents which allow virus particles to escape.
  • For children, find a face mask that is made for them to help ensure proper fit. The mask should fit snugly over the nose and mouth and under the chin and there should be no gaps around the sides.

How do I wear a face mask properly?

Now that you have the right mask, you need to check if you’re wearing it the right way. Here are some points to remember.

  • Sanitize your hands before putting on a face mask and avoid touching it when wearing it.
  • Make sure it covers your nose and mouth and can be secured under your chin. It should fit snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Do NOT wear it on your neck, forehead, under your nose, on your chin, or even dangling from one ear.
  • When removing your face mask, you should start by untying the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops and handle the mask only through the ear loops. Then, fold the outside corners together while being careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing the face mask.


When protecting yourself from the virus, it’s all about knowing and understanding what needs to be done. Arm yourself with the latest information so you can lessen your chances of getting infected with COVID-19.

During this pandemic, you need to be updated with the latest information so you can protect you and your loved ones better. That’s why it’s important to have a fast and reliable internet connection like Smart’s 5G network so you can read and watch the latest news and videos. You can avail of Smart’s data promos by downloading the GigaLife App on your iOS and Android devices.


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