4 deadly mistakes you might be committing with your face maskPublished on: 20 October 2020, 14:14 pm IST
Ever since covid-19 took over our lives, face masks have commanded attention more than ever! Apart from social distancing and frequent hand washing, the World Health Organisation recommends wearing masks to prevent the infection. Morever, a recent study in The Lancet has found that wearing face masks and maintaining proper distance can reduce transmission between persons, and that’s exactly what we want.
If you look around you, there are people of all ages and sizes, who can be seen sporting masks of all kinds! While that is surely a sign of relief, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. What we are trying to say is that not everyone is wearing their face mask the right way, and even if they are, some are not as particular when it comes to taking care of them.
That’s exactly why we are here to tell you all about some common mistakes that people commit when it comes to face masks. All set to find out?
1. Your mask only covers your mouth
Just ordered that fancy mask from Amazon but it only covers your mouth? Well, then it’s not the right choice for sure! We breathe partially or completely through our nose, so if you are inhaling viral particles, then how is your mask protecting you in any way? Plus a mask that only covers your mouth won’t do much when it comes to containing droplets, if you sneeze. And guess what? These particles might settle on your mask, and it could be a cause of trouble for you!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing a mask that covers both your nose and mouth, with the mask secured under your chin. Besides, it should fit snugly against your face, and there shouldn’t be any large gaps around your nose, mouth, or even the sides of your face.
2. You keep touching your mask
We know it’s not the most fun thing to wear your face mask all the time, but refrain from touching it all the time! For instance, if your mask touches any part of your face or body that is contaminated with the virus, and then you wear it over your mouth and nose, then you’re at a high risk for infection.
Make sure you wash your hands properly before wearing a mask, and once you’re out and about, fight the urge to touch or adjust it. Even when you are not wearing it, don’t just leave it around your neck.
3. You aren’t cleaning your mask well
Your job doesn’t end at just wearing the mask; you have to maintain hygiene once you remove it too! If it’s a disposable mask, then there’s no cause for worry. But if you plan to reuse your mask, then make sure it is properly washed. CDC also permits washing of cloth masks in a washing machine.
“Warm water and any detergent you’re used to using at home should work great,” Dr. Gabriela Andujar Vazquez, an infectious disease physician and associate hospital epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center, shared with a media outlet.
Let it dry in the sun, once you’re done washing. If your mask is damaged in any way or looks soiled, then don’t use it anymore. Just safely dispose it in a closed dustbin, and wash your hands properly.
4. You keep wearing your mask when it’s wet
In India, we often experience hot and humid climates, and that means you are likely to sweat a lot when you wear your mask. It isn’t just that the mask feels gross and uncomfortable, but it is also not as effective, when it is wet and drenched in sweat.
Yes, WHO says this too! The health group and a number of experts have stated that face coverings must be replaced if they become damp. Moreover, WHO states that fabric face masks should consist of at least three layers of different material. However, it adds that moisture can compromise this protection.
So, remove your mask gently, throw it away safely, or store it separately, and use a fresh one whenever needed.
Ladies, prevention is always better than cure, but only when done the right away! Be mindful of how you wear your masks, and stay protected from covid-19.