Using A Face Mask Correctly: Guidance From The Doctors
Diya wants to do her part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. She also understands that to do so she needs to wear masks every time when she goes out or when she is near other people.
Wearing a cloth mask will not just protect Diya but also the people around her. She can take other preventive actions in public settings, while traveling through mass transportation, at events, or large gatherings.
However, the one thing that she is not very good at is understanding how to use a face mask correctly. Since this is a very important topic, we shall be taking it up today so that Diya can do her part in stopping the spread of COVID-19 efficiently.
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) strongly recommends that people over the age of 2 years old should wear masks in public. CDC does not encourage the wearing of masks in children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing properly.
Further, individuals should practice social distancing by maintaining a distance of 6 feet from everyone when outside. This should also be practiced indoors with people with who you don’t live.
Wearing masks becomes a lot more important if someone in your household is infected with COVID-19. Diya was given the same guideline when her older brother got infected with COVID-19 and they had to live in the same house. Luckily, they were able to aid in his social distancing by asking him to stay within a room till he tested negative for COVID-19.
How to Wear a Mask Correctly?
There are some steps that Diya can follow to ensure that she wears a mask correctly every single time. These steps are:
- Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before putting on your mask. This is to ensure that you don’t touch your mask with dirty or infection carrying hands
- Place your mask over your nose and mouth
- Secure the mask properly under your chin
- Make sure that the mask is fit snugly against the sides of your face
- Slip the loops of your mask over your ears or tie the strings of your mask behind your head
- If you feel the need to constantly adjust your mask, then it’s a good indication that your mask does not fit you properly. In this case, try getting a different type or brand of mask
- Make sure that you can breathe easily
Diya is still having trouble deciding if her mask fits her properly or not. If she wants to check for the same, then indications of a well-fitting mask are:
- The mask should cover from below your chin
- The coverage of the mask should extend to above your nose
- The mask also needs to be pinched to fit the bridge of your nose properly
Some Do’s in Stopping the Spread of COVID-19
Diya is very relieved that she has been wearing a face mask correctly all this time. But she is not ready to stop learning how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 yet. She wants to look at some things she should do to stop the spread of COVID-19. Let’s look at some of those recommendations.
- Wear a mask in public settings or whenever you are around people who don’t live with you
- Try to stay six feet away from everyone. If it is hard to do that at home, then make sure you are maintaining this distance when around anyone who doesn’t live with you
- Make sure you are wearing your mask correctly to get maximum protection
- In places with cold weather, wear your mask under your ski mask, scarf, or balaclava
- If your mask becomes wet due to your breath, snow, or rain, then keep a spare mask to replace it in those cases
- Store all wet reusable masks in a plastic bag until they can be washed at home
Some Things to Avoid to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Activities that you should avoid engaging in during the COVID-19 pandemic are:
- Do not put your mask around your neck or up on your forehead
- Do not touch your mask and even if you have to, then always wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before and after it
- Do not stand or sit close to other people. Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet
- Do not wash your hands in a hurry. Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds at a time
- If water and soap are not available, then hand sanitizers with less than 60% alcohol content should be avoided
- Do not forget to socially distance yourself from everyone around you
How to Properly Take Off Your Mask?
Diya has followed all the guidelines recommended to stop the spread of COVID-19. She is quite proud of herself for that. However, she has just reached back home and she wants to take off her mask. But how?
If you also have the same problem as Diya, then follow the steps mentioned below.
- Stretch the ear loops of your mask or untie the strings behind your head
- Only handle the mask by the ear loops or ties
- Fold the outside corners of the mask together
- Place the mask in a washing machine
- Make sure that you are careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing the mask
- Wash your hands immediately after removing the mask
Masks and Guidance from the Doctors
Diya has also come across some studies that show that wearing a mask has no effect on the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels of the body. This study was done on people who wear cloth and surgical masks while resting or exercising.
This is good news as it shows that everybody, including hospital health workers, older adults, and adults with pre-existing illnesses can take care of themselves by wearing a mask. However, still if constantly wearing a mask makes you uncomfortable, then you can remove it when you are alone.
Stop the Spread of COVID-19!
Diya is also very happy that the vaccine for COVID-19 is now available. She wants to get vaccinated as soon as possible so that she can protect everyone around her more efficiently. If you want to do the same, then get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Once you are fully vaccinated, then you might be able to do the things that you couldn’t during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, between all of this, you shouldn’t forget to be careful and do your bit just like Diya to stop the spread of COVID-19. After all, this would help protect you and all your loved ones.