Face masks are today an essential accessory in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Even the villain mask is nowadays designed to help with this. However, it is vital to wear and handle masks in the right way to protect yourself and others. Masks are meant to be a barrier between the outside world and your airways. You can lower the risk of spreading the disease by trapping your own droplets inside the mask and reduce the risk of getting sick through droplets containing covid 19 by blocking access to your airways.
However, you have to use the mask correctly for it to be effective. Below is a guide for wearing face masks.
Pick the Right Mask
It will help if you put on a cloth mask made of cotton or similar materials as they provide a physical barrier. This helps reduce the spread of the disease through droplets from the nose and mouth but still allows you to breathe the fabric. These masks can be homemade or bought. You can also use medical masks commonly used by nurses, doctors, and coughing patients if available. Health workers who have close contact when treating patients should use the N95 respirator mask to prevent inhalation of tiny airborne particles.
Cover the Nose and Mouth with a Snug Fit
Face masks act as a barrier between the outside air and the respiratory system, as earlier stated. It must, therefore, cover the nose and mouth and snugly and comfortably fit on your face. Most of them either have straps or loops around the ears or behind the head to allow for the snug fit. There are different sizes of commercial masks, and you need to go for the one that best fits you. If it is too big, leaving gaps between the mask and the face, it is less effective. If it is too small and not well-designed, it may not cover both the nose and the mouth, therefore not effective.
Wear and Take Off Correctly
Your hands need to be clean when putting on a mask. Before removing your mask, you should wash your hands and remove it from the back, handling it by the straps or ear loops. Ensure you put it in a dedicated place like a bag, then disinfect your hands. Handle only your mask, if there are many members in your household.
Frequently Wash your Cloth Mask
Ideally, it would help if you wash your cloth mask every day you wear it. You need to wash and dry your face mask at high temperatures. The best option is to boil your mask for 10 minutes with some detergent separately or using bleach to decontaminate it. Before washing the mask, avoid mixing it with other pieces of laundry or with clean masks. You need to have at least five masks so you can wash them properly between every use. Also, do not share masks with your household members.
Avoid Touching the Mask
Always ensure you put on the mask properly to fit snugly around the nose. Secure it behind your ears or head. This way, you will not need to adjust it later as it may be contaminated if you touch it when the hands are not clean. Avoid touching your mask even if your skin feels itchy. The itch is likely to disappear you scratching it. If you have to touch your mask, ensure you sanitize your hands immediately afterward.