Coronavirus: How To Use Your Mask Properly
Who would have thought that we’d ever need masks to survive? This is the world we’re in right now and it requires you and I to be adaptable, teach ourselves on how to move and conduct ourselves amid COVID-19 and be flexible enough to adjust and thrive in the new world. When the pandemic started spreading, the CDC (Centre For Disease Control and Prevention ) stated that only medical masks were to be used. Later on, as the virus continued to spread, they advised that single-use masks and clothe masks can be used to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
It’s important to use, wear, remove, and dispose of these masks properly so that we ensure that we’re really effective in protecting ourselves from COVID-19.
Why Do We Wear Masks?
The main benefit of wearing masks is the protection we derive from them. We’re protected from dust, foreign elements and people’s respiratory secretions. Wearing of masks is very prevalent in countries like South Korea and China, whose air has high dust concentrations. In addition to this, people with allergies and respiratory illnesses also wear masks to protect their respiratory airways.
While it’s true that wearing a mask can be uncomfortable, it’s a small price to pay for staying alive.
How To Use Your Masks Properly
First, you have to choose a mask that’s a comfortable fit for you. Consider the size and shape of your face and whether you wear glasses because there’s no one mask fits all.
Single-use and disposable dust masks have to be replaced every day. If you’re using reusable masks, change the filter if you notice that it becomes harder to breathe through them.
Second, as masks require a close fit on the face to protect you from dirt-clogged air, it’s therefore necessary for men to be well shaven as facial hair stops the mask from sealing completely. It’s also important to wear masks whether you’re affected or not as the effects can take longer in developing.
Third, always carry out a fit check. According to the CDC, clothe masks should:
- Fit snugly and comfortably across the side of the face (hence why men should shave their facial hair).
- Be secured with ties or earloops.
- Include multiple layers of fabric.
- Allow for breathing without restriction.
- Be able to be laundered or machine dried without damage or change to shape.
Fourth, always carry out a fit-check so you can know if your mask fits the above qualities.
How To Manage And Dispose of Masks
Medical and single-use masks must be disposed of correctly to reduce the risk of transmission through incorrect disposal and handling of masks.
According to WHO, here are 7 simple ways, derived from health-care settings, of masks management:
- Place the mask carefully to cover the nose and the mouth and tie securely to minimize the gaps between the face and the masks.
- Avoid touching the maks while in use.
- Remove the mask by using the appropriate technique (ie: do not touch the front but remove from the lace behind).
- After removal or whenever you inadvertently touch a used mask, clean hands by using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water if visibly soiled.
- Replace masks with a new clean and dry mask as soon they become humid.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Discard single-use mask after each use and dispose of them upon removal.
In addition to this, here’s the Ministry Of Health’s directive on mask and COVID-19 waste disposal.
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