Wearing an FFP2 mask outside – what’s the point?
In spring weather it got tight in many urban parks at the weekend. Some people therefore decided to wear an FFP2 mask outdoors. Experts are rather skeptical about the benefits.
When the sun is shining and the temperatures are climbing, people are driven out of the house. Some then voluntarily wear their FFP2 masks in the open air to protect against the coronavirus, even when they are out and about on wide streets or in parks. How useful is that?
Claim: If you really want to protect yourself from Corona, you also have to wear an FFP2 mask outside
The former primarily protect the person opposite, the latter also protect the wearer themselves.
The reason for this is probably the fear of getting caught in a so-called aerosol cloud.
This forms in everyone by exhaling in front of the mouth and can contain coronaviruses in infected people. When people talk to each other, these aerosols are practically blown in the face of the person talking to. While viruses can collect in unventilated rooms, the exhaled air in the open air is quickly diluted and transported away, according to the Society for Aerosol Research (GAeF) in Cologne.
The amount of viruses that you might get off in passing is not enough for an infection, the advisor to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently told Deutschlandfunk Kultur. “Jogging, running, hiking, walking, I consider that to be absolutely harmless.”
The re are almost no infections caused by aerosol particles outdoors.” However, caution should be exercised in groups in which no minimum distances are observed and / or masks are not worn – for example during longer conversations .
So far, for the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), people who stand together with an infected person for longer than 15 minutes without any protection and less than 1.5 meters apart are considered to be contact persons with a “higher risk of infection”.
When the mask can become a risk
The World Health Organization (WHO) expressly warns sports enthusiasts against wearing masks.
According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics in Kaiserslautern, there is also the risk of a so-called infection bridge between the wearer and the environment: In the case of moist material, even with FFP models, for example, coughing or sneezing could throw droplets from the outer surface of the mask into the environment .
In principle, from the manufacturer’s point of view, FFP2 masks are not intended for reuse. According to experts from the Münster University of Applied Sciences, who have been studying these models for months, masks that have been moistened with breath can also be reprocessed up to five times – by drying them in the air for at least a week.