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How Effective Are Neck Gaiters For COVID-19

For many people, it seems quite impossible than it has been more than one year since the first cases of the Coronavirus were reported and confirmed in China. And since those initial reports have been made, we slowly saw how the virus started spreading all over the world, affecting millions of people in all nations.

In the hopes of controlling and hindering the spread of the virus, healthcare professionals recommend that people use face masks whenever they’re stepping outside their houses, and as an alternative to these masks – which are uncomfortable – a lot of individuals started using neck gaiters in order to cover their noses and mouths. However, are these covers effective for COVID-19?

What Exactly Are They?

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Basically, a neck gaiter is a closed loop of fabric and as the name implies, it most commonly stays around an individual’s neck, however, it can be pulled up in order to cover the nose and mouth. Since it comes in various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, it’s a versatile accessory, especially since it can also be used as a headband, warmer, or even a wristband.

If you do some digging online, you’ll learn that they’re usually made from materials such as elastane and polyester. Additionally, it’s a breathable cover, meaning that it won’t obstruct your breathing, even if you’re, for example, running. It can also be washed, hence, you can use it over and over again.

Neck gaiters have been around for a long time, however, in the last year, people prefer to use them as an alternative to the traditional masks that they need to put on whenever they go outside their home. In most cases, people opt for them because they’re more comfortable and more breathable than masks that can often be quite annoying.

So, Are They Effective For COVID-19?

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Now, this is something that will completely depend on the type and model you decide to purchase. What does this mean for you? Well, it means that you need to carefully decide which one you should buy, especially since this can influence the effectiveness of the cover.

For instance, if you opt for buying one that is made from polyester and that only has one layer of fabric, it definitely won’t be as effective in protecting the wearer from the Coronavirus. Instead, you must select one that is made from high-quality materials and that has several layers of fabric.

Hence, if you do want to use this alternative face cover whenever you need to go outside, it’s best if you decide to purchase one that is made from cotton and that has at least three layers of fabric. By choosing a type with these specifications, the entire face cover will be effective in protecting the wearer from the virus.

But, the aforementioned things aren’t the only important factors that you need to know. Whatever one you choose to use, it’s crucial that you ensure that it fits your nose, cheeks, and chin perfectly and comfortably. By ensuring this, you’ll also be ensuring that you’re entirely protected from the droplets that can transmit the virus.

To be extra sure about the quality of the face cover you pick, you can try lifting it towards the daylight and checking whether or not you can see the light shining through the mask. If you can see the light, then it’s quite possible that it won’t be effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

What Should I Consider Before Choosing?

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So, if you decided to start using neck gaiters instead of the traditional face covers and masks, you’ll need to consider a few things before opting for a specific model. Why? Well, by doing so, you’ll assure that it’s comfortable, but more importantly, that it’s effective. So, some of the most important things that you need to consider include:

  1. The Size – one of the first things that you need to consider is the size of the gaiter. In most cases, you’ll be able to pick between three options – S/M (53-55cm), M/L (56-58cm), and L/XL (59-62cm). However, there are also ‘one-size-fit-all’ covers, meaning that you could purchase one that can stretch.

 

  1. The Fit – once you’re done determine what size you’ll need, your next step is to see if it fits comfortably on your face, but more importantly, you need to verify that it snugs your cheeks, chin, and nose well, especially since this can guarantee that you’re well protected from the droplets that can transmit the virus.

 

  1. The Material – we already mentioned that they’re most commonly made from polyester and elastane, however, there are other options as well. For instance, you can choose a type that was made from fleece or wool for winter, and during summer, you can wear ones made from cotton or acrylic. Doing this will guarantee that you stay protected from the elements as well.

 

  1. Breathability – you won’t want to wear a cover that will obstruct you from breathing, hence, ensure that you opt for something that’ll allow you to breathe without any problems. Additionally, you must assure that the model you buy has at least two to three layers since this will ensure that you’re safe.

 

  1. The Style – although not quite important as the aforementioned features, you’ll definitely want to choose a fashionable model that suits your style. Fortunately, there are various websites that offer completely customized models, meaning that you can actually create your own gaiter. You can find more info about that on https://vivipins.com/custom-neck-gaiters/

 

  1. The Comfort – last on our list is the fact that you need to ensure that you’re actually comfortable when wearing the mask. You won’t want it to be too loose – since it’ll definitely annoy you – but, you won’t want it to be too tight as well. Hence, ensure that it snugs your face comfortably.

Conclusion

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Neck gaiters can be used as an alternative to the traditional face masks and covers worn by millions of people all over the world. However, before you opt for the first option that comes up in your search results, ensure that you consider all of the aforementioned features, especially since it’ll ensure that you remain protected.

So, now that you know that you can, in fact, wear neck gaiters instead of face masks, you shouldn’t waste any more of your time. Instead, you should open up a new search tab, and start looking for a particular model that will suit your needs, but more importantly, that’ll keep you protected from the Coronavirus.


Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the foreignpolicyi.org started.

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