Since the beginning of the mandatory use of the mask and in the middle of the third wave of the pandemic, The debate about which of the models to use when doing sports is still on the table.
The new spike in infections last January has made masks have been made mandatory when doing sports outdoors, in addition to practicing it individually. Faced with this new regulation, many people continue to debate whether it is advisable to use FFP2 for practice or whether surgical or cloth are enough to protect us against the virus.
The truth is that they are two totally opposite concepts, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to live together. But, before discussing which is the best option, the most important thing in this is “the proper use made of them”, as highlighted Pedro Manonelles, President of the Spanish Society of Sports Medicine.
And is that many people Forget the limited hours of life that masks have or, in the case of fabric ones, the number of washes they allow. “There are people who use them for days, so the protection does not exist and they can even be harmful,” he adds.
The FFP2, unfeasible for sports?
Among all the options that we have known throughout these months, it has become clear that FFP2 are the ones that provide the greatest protection. They last up to a maximum of eight hours and, in addition to protecting the people around, protects the person wearing it.
However, many experts point to the difficulty when breathing with this type of mask. “They do not allow enough breathing in situations of effort”, indicates Manonelles to La Voz de Galicia, words that Manuel Giráldez, doctor and professor at the Faculty of Sports Sciences of A Coruña, strongly supports: “They limit air circulation.”
Among other experts, Rosendo Bugarín, Family doctor, is more emphatic about the use of FFP2, considering them “unviable” for use when doing high-competition training. Not so in milder cases, at the amateur level, “For short periods and at a not very high rate” where its use could be viable.
Surgical masks, the best option
Despite its duration of only four hours, The three experts point to surgical surgery as the best option for outdoor sports. Of course, in environments where there are not many people since, the bad thing about this mask is that it protects others, but exposes the person that leads to a possible contagion.
“The only difference is that with surgery you avoid infecting others, and with FFP2 you avoid infecting yourself”, nuances Giráldez.
However, this mask allows for better air circulation. For this reason, they insist on the importance of correctly placing the masks and maintaining the 5 meters of distance between people when doing sports, avoiding aerosol infections.
Cloth masks “must not be used”
As Giráldez points out, The most important thing about these fabric masks is to know “how they are configured and what control process they have had in the manufacture”. That is, to know if they really comply with the security conditions.
“The fabric is treated in such a way that the pore it leaves is tiny, so it has a wear time and a few washes. One made with a homemade fabric has no effect on protection ”, he clarifies. Furthermore, the epidemiologist Juan Gestal is rigorous and indicates that “they should not be used” in these cases.
The first step is to get used to
No one was comfortable with the mask the first time we put it on, but in the end, we have ended up living with it. The same happens in sports: everything is getting used to, whatever it is in order to avoid new infections. “Feeling like you can’t breathe or don’t get enough air.
This has already been proven not to be true ”, Dr. Manuel Giráldez points out, insisting that “if someone feels uncomfortable, they should adapt” with shorter distances and less intensity.
In addition, the same experts point out that “adequate protection does not vary depending on the sport to be practiced” and that, despite the fact that “it is not common for them to get wet to stop being valid”, they must always be discarded, even despite not having passed four hours of use, due to the perspiration that can accumulate.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.