Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Face Masks in Public
Face masks have become an essential accessory in the fight against the spread of the current pandemic. When the face mask is worn properly, it not only protects the wearer from getting infected, but also prevents the wearer from spreading infection. Masks are a very effective barrier against the outside world when used properly.
However, masks do need to be worn and handled correctly. When worn properly, an ideal mask should trap your own infectious droplets within the mask and prevent the spread of infection. At the same time, it should also prevent you from inhaling infectious droplets suspended in the air. The use of masks becomes more critical in cases of asymptomatic patients who can spread infections. While N95 and surgical masks make excellent barriers to infective droplets, multi-layered, tightly-woven cotton masks are equally good too. Here’s a look at some dos and don’ts on their uses.
• Your face mask should fit snugly around your nose and mouth, leaving no gaps
• Ensure that your face mask is multi-layered and allows you to breathe
• Do wear your mask when indoors in public spaces
• Wash your hands after removing the mask or touching it
• Practice social distancing even if wearing a mask
• Wash your cloth mask every day in hot water and regular detergent
• If you are living with someone with co-morbidities, consider wearing a mask at home to protect them
• When removing the mask, don’t let it touch your eyes, nose or mouth
• Remove the mask by pulling out the ear loops
• Don’t wear masks that haven’t been cleaned thoroughly
• Avoid wearing masks that have become distorted in shape and don’t fit properly
• Don’t push the mask under your chin when eating or drinking; instead, remove it completely
• Don’t put masks on children under the age of two years
• Avoid putting the mask on someone who is unconscious or having trouble breathing
• Avoid touching your mask once you have put it on. Handle it from the ear loops only
• Don’t share masks with other people including family members
• Don’t neglect social distancing just because you are wearing a mask
Triple-layered cotton masks are best as they are effective, comfortable to wear as well as being kind to the natural environment.