“War for face masks”: reasons and solutions
Millions of masks diverted to the USA instead of Europe
The latest news reports state that a “war for masks” that was launched by at least several countries across the globe. According to a report on Guardian, planes with personal protection masks which were expected to be delivered to Germany and France ended up arriving in the USA. An airplane with around 200,000 N95 respirators which were ordered for the police force in Berlin was diverted to the USA. The same situation occurred with 2 million face masks that were ordered by French government which never received the order. Statements made by authorities in both European countries point out that it is not clear whether the US government has to do anything with this situation or was it just an American company or individual who took much needed equipment from Europeans. They are also admitting that finding stock with protective gear is becoming like a “treasure hunt”. Even when they succeed to find the masks and gowns, they are not always able to outbid the prices for them.
As the demand for professional protection and medical equipment rises, there is not enough supply of surgical masks, N95 respirators, protective gowns, gloves, goggles and ICU ventilators. According to the WHO March report, soaring demand in these gears caused the prices to surge as much as six-fold. Even with exorbitant prices, it is becoming extremely difficult to meet the demand for professional protection gear as countries need more and more equipment to protect their frontline healthcare workers. Market manipulation is causing the stock to be sold to the highest bidder, who are currently Americans with nearly 300,000 cases across the USA. Reasons behind the “war for masks”
Australia has only one manufacturer of medical masks which changed their annual 2 million masks production into 50 million masks. Even this is predicted not to be enough as the world sees higher and higher numbers in COVID-19 cases being detected every day. The market manipulation is caused by panic buyers in our society who are leaving no masks for the frontline healthcare workers who must have the professional protective equipment. This might be the reason why WHO issued a statement saying that you don’t need a mask if you have not tested for Coronavirus. By urging the general public not to buy surgical masks and N95 respirators, authorities wanted to make sure that the health care workers have sufficient face masks to work with infected patients.
What to do to stop the “war for masks”
As an individual and important part of the society, it is our duty to do our best in order to stop the spread of the deadly virus. With winter approaching and creating the perfect environment for the spread of various viruses including flu and COVID-19, we ought to take efficient measurements. As we can observe, the curve is flattening in some Asian and European countries with mandatory face-mask wearing which proves the efficiency of covering the part of the body through which Coronavirus easily enters our respiratory system.
In order to help the frontline healthcare workers to have sufficient protective equipment, we can wear homemade face covers which are made only from recommended fabric and following specific guidelines. You can read more about the best materials to be used for DIY masks here. This way we can ensure that we are doing the best we can to protect ourselves and loved ones from the exposure to the virus as it stays afloat in the air for up to 3 hours. It is good to remember that over 50% of the patients tested positive for COVID-19 showed no symptoms which means that anyone around us can be the carrier of the virus. It is better to be safe than sorry and having protective masks to avoid touching your face combined with social distancing in public places will definitely lower our chances of contracting the virus. Now to protect you and your family members, you can order top-quality 100% cotton organic cotton face covers handmade with great love and care HERE https://stay-safe.com.au/collections/all
Take care and Stay Safe!