During this Coronavirus pandemic there’s a lot of false information being spread- just as much as the virus itself. Personally, I feel that misinformation is just as dangerous if not more than the actual disease. One of those areas that gets a lot of attention is whether or not masks in public are helpful.
While there is some debate on whether or not wearing a mask will help keep you healthy nearly everyone in the scientific community reports that a mask will keep someone infected from spreading the disease The CDC is now recommending wearing masks in public since it’s possible to be contagious and feel no symptoms of Covid-19. If we all continue to do this it could help slow the spread.
When wearing a mask there are several things to consider. First, you need to find a mask that fits well. While there are several tutorials on how to make a homemade mask they don’t always cover all the openings around your face and could let in air or water droplets. And obviously we don’t need to buy N95 respirators that are intended for healthcare workers. Aside from going out and making a custom fit mask, your best bet is to find a mask that is adjustable and form-fitting.
Another thing to keep in mind is the thickness of your mask. If it’s too thin, the virus could easily go straight through. You need a tight weave to ensure that the particles won’t go through. Generally, this means you want a mask made of some sort of fabric that can be washed after each use and re-worn.
Be careful when removing the mask. Always wash your hands regardless but be especially sure to sanitize after handling the mask. When removing, undo it by the straps on the back. Try not to touch the front covering since most of the droplets have landed on the front of the mask.
While wearing a mask is generally helpful there are a few scenarios where a mask is not recommended. If someone has trouble breathing or unconscious, then they are not to wear a mask. Also, it is not suggested that a small child, specifically 2-year-olds or younger, wear face coverings.
The best time to cover your face is when you’re in public. Obviously with this extended quarantine going on some people’s stocks are running low and a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy is unavoidable. If that is the case, then when out at the store it is smart to wear something for your face. Also wearing a mask is a visual cue for others to keep the guidelines in mind. This can be your way of showing others that you are concerned about their health as much as you are about your own.
As always, wearing a mask is just another tool we can use and should not be relied on as the only form of prevention. Staying at least 6 feet away from others, and staying home as much as you can are still the best ways we can fight this thing. Not to sound too cheesy, but we’re all in this together. Let’s help each other by sharing any tips that you find important.