Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, the World is getting wrapped in all kinds of masks and the reason is simple – we wear masks to protect other people in our area from droplet infection from ourselves, possibly infected.
If we all wear masks, the protection of the population, though not perfect, will improve. Simply put, wearing a mask is seen as a sign of respect for other people and should be a condition for accessing shops, medical facilities, pharmacies, and offices as well as for traveling by public transport.
Do facemasks really protect?
Yes. Wearing a face mask stops people from becoming infected in three ways:
- By blocking airborne droplets filled with virus from being inhaled
- By blocking airborne droplets filled with virus from being exhaled
- By stopping the wearer from touching their own mouths and noses.
From these three points, the most important are the second and third. While surgical masks used by Medical Professionals are designed to filter out droplets while inhaling, the rest of us are possible vectors that may carry the disease with us, without showing any symptom. That’s why we should use masks for avoiding spreading any virus or bacteria while outside. The masks don’t filter 100% of the droplets you may expel when sneezing or coughing, but it reduces significantly the number of droplets ejected.
Also, it is proved that the countries where masks are common (i.e., Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong) and where the usage of masks is mandatory by the government (i.e., Czech Republic) the number of registered cases and deceases has dropped significantly.
Another effect is the reduction of the demand for proper surgical masks that can be used by Medical Professionals. It might sound silly, but due to the high demand for surgical masks, emergency health services have a shortage of this material. By not buying a disposable surgical mask, you are helping your local community.
Tips Before Putting On a Face Mask
Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap. Try not to touch the mask’s cloth and handle it only with the laces or elastic bands.
Tips while Wearing a Face Mask
- Avoid touching your face. This can be really challenging and by controlling how many times we touch our nose, mouth, eyes, etc. we realize how often we do it daily.
- If you have to sneeze or cough, do it in the inner part of your elbow. This reduces dramatically the emitted droplets.
Tips for Removing a Face Mask
- Remove the mask handling only the laces or elastic bands. Try not to touch the mask itself.
- If the mask is disposable, drop it in the common trashbin.
- If the mask is reusable, fill a pot of water and bring to boil. Drop the mask in the pot and keep boiling for at least 15 minutes.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.
And Don’t Forget
The best protection you can have is to adhere to World Health Organization recommendations:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Maintain social distancing and keep the maximum time in isolation at home.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Practice respiratory hygiene
You can find more information on WHO’s website by clicking here.