Masks were always a distant thing for many people around the world. It always was a preserve for doctors and health workers.
On the rare moments when it went public, it hardly became a worldwide act of protection. During the SARS outbreak, mask-wearing remained in the Asian continents, where the virus remained domiciled. The same was for Swine Flu.
Widespread infection make it a necessity
However, the fast spread of the coronavirus, combined with its lethality, had meant that the world went from seeing them on TV to living behind them daily.
Now, though, with many people looking to protect themselves from the virus, masks of all kinds have popped up.
But perhaps the mask that will spike people’s interest is the one that Nottingham Trent University developed.
According to the Mirror, the mask would have five layers, two more than what the current surgical mask has. Those two layers would be antiviral, which would have nanoparticles. So, once the virus gets to the copper layer, it releases the copper ions. These ions, once they come into contact with the virus, cause the virus to die and stop its reproduction.
Mask to be available by December 2020
Dr Gareth Cave, the designer, said that they put the two copper layers on both sides of the mask. This design, he said, was so that it would protect not only the wearer but also those around them.
If an infected person coughed, the inside layer would kill the virus. On the other hand, if the virus were on the wearers surrounding, then the outside layer would destroy it. Furthermore, Dr Cave said the mask would also be safely disposed of without concern for secondary infections from contact with a contaminated mask.
According to the Mirror, the tests have shown that the mask kills viruses up to 90 per cent of the time. They also have a filtration efficiency of 99.98 per cent. It could be available for public use as early as December 2020.