Anika Raman

What is the best type of mask?


While researchers continue to learn more about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it is encouraged to maintain safety measures until a vaccine is ready. 

Wearing a face mask is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. Masks should cover the face from the bridge of the nose to under the chin. It should be loose fitting but secure enough to stay in place. Make sure you can talk with your mask on and that it doesn’t irritate you, so you are not tempted to touch or pull it out of place, which could limit its effectiveness or put you at risk from touching your face. Look for a mask with at least two layers of fabric. It should cover your nose and mouth without large gaps. The mask should have ear loops or ties so you can adjust it. For people who wear glasses, look for a mask with a bendable border at the top so you can mold the mask to fit the bridge of your nose and prevent your glasses from fogging. The N-95 masks are more effective than the fabric masks, but are used more around people or in the hospital, while fabric or cloth masks are used in shops or outside.



Courtesy of Jakab

Q and A with Sharon Jakab, AAPS School Nurse 


Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

“I’ve been a nurse for 27 years. I’ve been a pediatric nurse working in Canada, Florida and now Michigan. I’ve been a Ann Arbor Public School nurse for the last 6 years.”  


Q: What has been hard for you during COVID-19?

“One thing that has been hard is not being able to see the students, because that is what a  nurse is for, seeing you, meeting you and that is what I thought was the hardest thing.” 


Q: What kind of conditions will make you feel safe if/when going back in person?

“I think the hardest part one going back to school is interacting with everyone since now it is virtual, and I believe that when we go back to school, we should be careful. “


Q: Which mask do you think is the most effective?

“I have many different types of masks, I have an N-95 mask, a fabric mask with two layers, and a surgical mask. I think what mask you wear depends on where you are going. For example, when I go to the grocery store, I wear my fabric mask. But when you are going somewhere like the doctor or the hospital, you might wear an N-95 mask. So it depends on where you are going, but overall, the fabric mask it the best.”


Q: How should you prepare for a pandemic in the future?

“I think we got a lot of experience in how to prepare for a pandemic during Covid-19. The ‘pandemic’ was the Swine Flu, in 2009, and unlike COVID-19, it mostly affected kids, and we did not have to wear masks. In the future, we should stock up on masks, hand sanitizer, and any other things we need.”


Q: What is one thing that worked out for you during COVID-19?

“For me, what went really well was taking a break from work in the school and I appreciate that time I got to take out everyday and spend time with my family.” 


Q: How has your job as a nurse changed during the pandemic?

“Like I said before, the main job of a nurse is to see your faces, but during the pandemic, we are coming up with plans and sort of preparing for when we go back to school.”


Q: How do you stay safe during the pandemic?

“In my family, we go on walks a lot, so whenever we go outside we wear our mask. We never went inside shops, except the grocery store and always stayed 6 feet apart from other people.”