Many people are rushing to buy N95 masks to protect themselves against the haze. This picture shows a long queue building up at Rivervale Mall. We need to remain calm and rational. There are many misconceptions that should be cleared:
1. Ordinary surgical masks does not serve any protection so don’t go rushing for them.
2. N95 is useful but only if it is of the right size and worn in a proper manner to be effective.
3. Short term exposure to the haze is not going to lead to bodily harm unless you belong to the vulnerable group with chest diseases, young ones or the elderlies. Asthmatic patients should continue medications during this period and seek medical attention early if feeling unwell.
4. Only those who needs to be outdoors for long periods of time need to wear the N95 masks. If you are sitting in an airconditioned office, there is no real need to wear one. Majority of people therefore do not need to be wearing N95 masks.
5. Short term exposure will not cause cancers.
The best thing to do is to stay indoors with air-conditioning and seek medical attention early. Stay calm and look out for those around us. Let’s not go into panic buying of N95 masks.
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