My veil, your mask

I’m a new niqabi and its ironic that I started wearing the veil right round the time folks started donning masks to protect against H1N1, a.k.a. swine flu.

There are two types of masks: surgical masks are designed to keep your germs in, while N95 respirators are designed to keep germs out. So, if you want to ward off the virus by wearing a mask, you would wear the N95 type.
According to William Schaffner, a professor at Vandebilt University School of Medicine:

“…masks that are worn properly tend to be uncomfortable, it will fit snugly over both the mouth and nose, which can make a person feel warm and even claustrophobic…an N95 respirator, which must be properly fitted to form an airtight seal against the skin, can make it hard to breathe.”

I’ve got a friend who used to wear niqab and had difficulty breathing. Praise God, I haven’t experienced that. I believe that some types do make breathing difficult and surely Allah did not intend that for his servant.

In any case, it never dawned on me that my thin piece of fabric could even begin to protect me against the dreaded virus. Then today I came across an article that says there are doctors who say women do not need to wear medical face masks to guard against swine flu if they instead wear a suitable veil. I’m not sure what they mean by “suitable”. In any case, I pray that my veil protects me (and others) from not just H1N1 but diseases of the heart.

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