The exception has become natural in light of the global pandemic, and face masks have become mandatory in some countries while shopping or on public transport.
With the World Health Organization calling for the use of masks as part of a comprehensive strategy for measures to prevent transmission and save lives, medical face mask has become part of our normal life.
Over time, medical face masks have witnessed an evolution in form and uses, until they came to be the first line of defense against the “Covid-19” pandemic.
Masks and servants
The oldest pieces of face mask recorded in history date back to the sixth century BC, when some images of people wearing masks were found on their mouths on the doors of Persian tombs.
As for the oldest element that resembles a face mask today, it is believed that it appeared in China during the Yuan Dynasty from 1279 to 1368, and was woven from silk and gold threads. According to Globaltimes, the trips of the Italian explorer, Marco Polo, to China in the century are recorded. The 13th in the Yuan Dynasty, and the emperor’s servants wore silk scarves to cover their mouths and noses during meals, as it was believed that the silk scarves would prevent the servants’ breath from affecting the smell and taste of food.
During the Middle Ages and early modern times, the plague ravaged most parts of the world, leaving millions of victims behind.
There was no cure for the plague, the number of deaths increased, and the hotbeds of infection expanded, until the epidemic struck France in 1619, and the matter then posed a challenge to the French doctor, “Charles de Lormy”, so he invented a protective clothing from the plague, consisting of a long dress, extending from neck to ankle The air cannot penetrate it, in addition to gloves, shoes and a hat made of waxed leather.
But the addition that de Lormi placed and associated his name with it, is a mask in the shape of a bird’s beak, full of aromatic herbs that were believed to fight infections carried by polluted air. The mask had two holes, one on each side near the nostrils, for breathing.
Eyes were protected by spectacles, and at the time de Lormi was called “the doctor’s beak”.
Fabric masks for the first time
With the entry of the nineteenth century, bacteria, infection, and sterilization were of interest to scientists and physicians, and cloth masks appeared for the first time.
The first recorded use of a face mask was by a French surgeon named Paul Berger during an operation in Paris in 1897.
The mask was made of 6 layers of medical gauze at the time, and this gradually developed into the mask that could be attached and attached to the ears, which was the beginning of modern face masks.
Masks continued to be developed in the medical field, and in the early decades of the twentieth century, doctors tried to determine the most efficient type of masks, and patents for various designs were registered.
Masks are usually made of several layers of cotton gauze fastened to a metal frame, and their main goal is to prevent the transmission of respiratory droplets to and from the wearer in the operating room.
Most of the masks were washable and metal parts could be sterilized, so the mask was in use for a long time.
During the 1930s, cloth masks began to be replaced by new – disposable paper masks.
By the 1960s, there were new types of synthetic fiber filter masks that were disposable.
And unlike most traditional medical masks, these respirators are cup-shaped on the face and are designed to filter incoming air, not just outside, and these masks can only be used once, because their synthetic tissue will be damaged during sterilization.
Today, with the spread of the Corona pandemic, various forms of face masks have appeared, from medical, paper and cloth, as well as plastic. Despite the different preferences of people regarding the type of masks, they remain an effective way to always reduce the spread of infection and protect lives.