Do you like wet? Well, your respiratory tract may like it and wearing a face mask can help.
Certainly, a face mask can block at least part of the Corona-19 coronavirus from getting into your nose and mouth. After all, wearing something is better than nothing, as they say for job interviews and first dates. But there may be another reason why a face cover can prevent you from becoming a serious Covid-19. And it’s not hot. It’s moisture. The study was just published in Biophysical Journal showed how a face blanket can serve as a humidifier, keeping the airways nice and moist.
Wet Wet Wet is a Scottish soft rock band that sang the song “Love Is All Around”. It can also describe your breath. That’s why exhaling in front of a mirror leaves a steamy spot and people don’t like it when you breathe two inches in front of their face. The latter is especially true when repeating the word “wet” or “grease”. The nose and mouth are connected to the respiratory tract, at least they should be connected. So blocking the moist air coming out of your mouth by covering your face could cause you to return it to your respiratory tract, right?
Well, to further examine this possibility, two researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Joseph M. Courtney et al. Ad Bax, they set up an experiment. The volunteer inhaled their steel box while the volunteer was and was not wearing a face mask. They tested four different types of masks: a N95 respirator, a standard surgical mask, a mask supplied by NIH consisting of a two-layer mixture of cotton and polyester, and a relatively thick, coated cotton mask.
The researchers made sure that the face mask was firm. In this case, solid didn’t mean “it’s solid,” as in “it’s great,” “it’s great,” or “it’s great.” Instead, the researchers used a layer of high-density rubber around the opening of the steel box to make sure the edges of the mask fit snugly against the volunteer’s face to minimize leakage.
As the volunteer breathed into the box, the researchers then measured the resulting increase in relative humidity inside the steel box. Relative humidity is not a sweat stain on your cousin’s shirt. Instead, it is the concentration of water vapor in the air, measured as a percentage of the maximum possible amount of moisture at a given temperature. So 100% relative humidity is as humid as it can be.
It should come as no surprise that the relative humidity in the box increased when the volunteer inhaled into it without wearing any face cover. By comparison, wearing any of the four masks significantly reduced the degree to which breathing increased the moisture in the box. In other words, all that moisture that would enter the steel box was instead trapped by the mask, meaning the volunteer breathed more humid air again. The face mask basically acted as a humidifier, which can be good for your airways.
This is because things can get a little hairy in your respiratory tract. Small hairs, called cilia, line your tract. The beginning of the word “cilia” sounds like the beginning of the word “stupid”, and the second part rhymes with the end of the word “necrophilia”. But neither “silly” nor “necrophilia” is an appropriate description of these hairs. They are important in defending your respiratory tract and lungs.
Your respiratory tract usually secretes mucus which then lines up your airways. This slimy annoyance can behave like a fly virus and trapping viruses and other small particles in the air that you inhale before they pass through your respiratory tract. The lashes on your respiratory beat then beat rhythmically like when you twitch. This rhythmic movement transfers the mucosa and trapped particles back from your respiratory tract into your throat. This combined defense system is called mucociliary clearance (MCC).
Basically, particles and other intruders fall harder with MCC. Yes, you know me. In essence, a more humid environment is more conducive to the mucosa being sticky and trapping hairs and hairs that move the buttocks back and out of the respiratory tract.
Higher humidity in the respiratory tract can also enhance interferon production. The name “interferon” indicates what these proteins do. They interfere with the multiplication of the virus by alerting and triggering your immune system. If interferons could talk, they might say “force us to do our job.”
All this is additional proof that wearing a face mask can not only help others, but also you. Currently, Covid-19 alone is not enough to actually stop the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus. Vaccine coverage is not yet high enough. It is not yet clear how well the vaccine can prevent infection with the virus and its spread. In addition, no vaccine is 100% effective. That’s why measures like social distancing and wearing face masks are still important. Therefore, the next time someone refuses to wear a face mask, you can tell that person to show some moisture. Any argument against wearing a face mask can be simply all wet.