N95 masks can now be purchased directly from American manufacturers, though this may require ordering in large quantities. Fortunately, ProjectN95.org is repackaging trusted N95 and KN95 masks into much smaller batches for sale directly to consumers.
There is no doubt that coronavirus-infected individuals can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others by wearing a face mask correctly.
Masks immediately limit the spread and amount of contaminated respiratory droplets that become airborne with every sneeze, cough or even breath.
A couple complicating factors in the control of coronavirus have been 1) high-quality masks have been in such short supply and 2) many infected people don't even realize that they are infected. As many as 75% of infected people experience no symptoms... yet they can transmit the virus to others. For this reason alone, it makes sense for all of us to be wearing face masks when we are in public. (If you're driving alone or with family in a car or confining yourself to home and none of your family members are ill, there is no need for you to be wearing a mask.)
Another benefit of wearing a mask, however, is that it may also help prevent healthy individuals from 'catching' the virus (depending on the type of mask and material used). At least one study suggests that even DIY (Do It Yourself), home-made masks made from old cotton t-shirts or covering your nose and mouth with a bandana can reduce exposure to virus by 50%. Any protection is better than none! Plus, wearing a mask may cause enough interuption to stop us from touching our face!
Face masks can protect you and others... but only when worn properly:
Wash or sanitize hands before handling mask and handle by the elastic loop(s) or tie(s). (Touching the front of the mask can cause it to become contaminated.)
Once you have your mask in place, don't touch or fidget with it.
A mask should fit snugly (no gaps).
The mask should COMPLETELY cover your chin, mouth AND nose.