Photo of the Covid-19 virus under a microscope with the text, "Covid-19 Why it Matters, What's the Best Mask to Wear?"

Video: COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 11: What type of mask should I wear?

This video series features UW-Green Bay’s Immunologist Brian Merkel on COVID-19 and Why it Matters. This series empowers viewers with knowledge to help them navigate through the pandemic. Merkel has a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia. He is an associate professor in UW-Green Bay’s Human Biology & Biology programs and has an appointment at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Microbiology and Immunology. He will be responding to a number of questions related to COVID19 and try to get behind the “why” it’s important to be educated in your decision-making as we navigate the pandemic together.

Video Transcript – COVID-19 Why it Matters, Part 11: What type of mask should I wear?:

Hi, Brian Merkel, Microbiology and Immunology UW-Green Bay.

We are continuing our video series on why COVID-19 matters. If you cannot physically separate yourself social distancing sometimes this is referred to as six feet, you are absolutely strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.

They need to cover both the nose and the mouth. That is critically important. Number two, if you are wearing something that you can reuse because it’s made up of cotton… which seems to be a very good material… it’s important that you wash these face coverings daily. Make sure that you have a supply that can accommodate your needs as you go about your business.

Now in terms of material, cotton that is tightly woven that have more than one layer seems to work very well. In terms of protection that is not recommended at this time, we talk about face shields. There are investigation studies being looked at to determine their value. At this time, we do not recommend them. And neck gaiters… studies are being done with those as well. We don’t have enough information about their utility at this time so, we do not recommend neck gators either.

One other category of face coverings that are not recommended, they’re not masks as much as they are respirators. These are N95 respirators, we reserve these for use in medical by medical personnel that have an absolute need because of the risk that they face for using those. Nor do we recommend any kind of face covering that has an exhaust valve. If you are asymptomatic and infectious and don’t know you’re infectious you are releasing that virus. As you could ultimately infect others, we recommend against their use as well.

We recommend face coverings for individuals two years and older, not younger. We do not recommend face coverings for individuals that have trouble breathing. These are conversations you should have with your health care providers to make sure you get the best guidance for your particular situation. All other individuals are strongly recommended to wear face coverings, especially if you cannot social distance when you’re going to be around individuals and there’s less than six feet of separation from you and the next individual and that’s whether it’s outside or inside. Thank you.

COVID-19 Why it Matters: Video Series:

Introduction with Brian Merkel https://youtu.be/M-yYPSPk30Q

Part 1: What are viruses and where did this one come from https://youtu.be/DYbiIv8ICgs

Part 2: Two main types of viruses https://youtu.be/O-OVk3rx96s

Part 3: Why is this virus serious? https://youtu.be/EDFyNN8i5G4

Part 4: Why wash hands/wear mask? https://youtu.be/FlcAvlt876Y

Part 5: I’m young! Why should I care? https://youtu.be/TDrEV_beY1U

Part 6: Can pandemics be stopped before they start? https://youtu.be/lgWnJZNYbFI

Part 7: Pandemic is not local, why wear a mask? https://youtu.be/IG3Sl3q-xH8

Part 8: Why does everyone need a flu shot this year? https://youtu.be/DGpBFj0fJkA

Part 9: What is the science behind a vaccine? https://youtu.be/eQ3FclkYaQo

Part 10: Where can I find accurate information? https://youtu.be/pLMlU5Xnkgo

Part 11: What type of mask should I wear? https://youtu.be/gCFHxQvkVYE