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An antiviral-cum-anti pollution mask is the way to go; the helmet for your wellbeingThe COVID-19 is here to stay for a long time, and each one of us across the globe needs to take necessary precautions in order to stay protected. However, the bad times are about to get worse for those residing in Delhi and neighboring cities as the air pollution season is soon to be upon us. In the coming weeks, air pollution is expected to hit a choking peak in New Delhi; more so due to the ominous paddy burning season approaching. Each year India’s rice farmers burn the stubble of the harvested crop, contributing to an annual haze that damages the health of those in and around the capital. Typically, the north westerly winds hit Delhi between mid and late October and everything turns grey up till the winter as smoke tends to linger in the colder months. And with more labour available and a good monsoon this time round, we should surely expect a better crop yield, and consequently, farmers in Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana will have more crops to burn. The moment the north westerlies hit us, we are trapped. A typical winter in New Delhi involves toxic air quality levels, itchy throats, heaving chests and burning eyes. Also, we have the impact of fireworks, candles and diyas during Diwali, which makes it a pretty poisonous cocktail full of black carbon nanoparticles, arsenic and metals! Therefore, it is imperative for all of us, as responsible and educated citizens of the country to buy and wear masks which are not just antiviral but also anti-pollution. Any mask you buy from this point on should be reusable and washable in order to last you through the coming months. Also considering wearing a mask is the ‘new normal’, your mask must also have a low breathing resistance to make it more breathable to wear for long periods of time. Additionally, it should be lightweight and made from all-natural fabrics to provide a snug and comfortable fit and feel. In other words, you need a CE certified FFP2R pollution mask with an N99 activated carbon filter, where the R stands for reusable and washable and lasts you 4 months or more to get you through the season. The most cost-effective way to protect ourselves from air pollution and Coronavirus ill-effects is an antiviral-cum-anti pollution mask. Wearing a mask in India, and especially if you are living in a metro city is no longer an option, but a necessity.