DO’S AND DON’TS OF WEARING A FACE MASK DURING COVID-19. During the earlier stages of the Covid-19 outbreak, WHO recommended the use of a face mask only for the health care workers, public service providers and those who were sick and having symptoms of Covid-19.
But recently WHO recommended that everyone should be wearing them especially when getting out of the house.
While this would be a smart way to go, since you don’t know who might be infected and transmitting the virus to you through droplets, many people have been stocking up on masks and gloves, causing a shortage for those taking care of the Covid-19 patients like doctors and nurses.
While wearing masks and gloves will provide protection against larger respiratory droplets and reduce your chances of acquiring the virus, it needs to be used properly to get the most benefit out of it.
If you are not handling your masks properly, you might be making yourself even more prone to catching the virus.
Proper care and technique should be taken while donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) your face mask.
So, here are the DO’S and DON’TS that one should remember while wearing a FACE MASK during COVID-19 :-
DO’S OF WEARING A FACE MASK DURING COVID-19 :
- Disinfect your hands with alcohol-based hand wash or plain old soap and water for 20-30 secs before wearing and after disposing of the mask.
- Handle the face mask only with the ear loops while donning and doffing
- Check if the face mask is free of any tears or holes
- Ensure that the face mask covers your nose, mouth and chin with no gaps between the face and the mask. If your mask has a metal ridge, make sure that it sits snugly on your nose.
- Make sure that the coloured surface of your mask is outside.
- In case of a single-use mask, dispose of it correctly, holding from the ear loops, and without touching any other part, throwing it off in a closed bin.
- In case of using cloth masks, immediately after use, soak it in a washer on the highest heat setting. Use only when completely dry. You can also air/heat dry the masks.
DON’TS OF WEARING A FACE MASK DURING COVID-19 :
- Do not touch the outside of your face mask often.
- Do not wear the mask only over the mouth or only on the nose. Wear a well-fitted mask that covers your mouth and nose both.
- Do not reuse a single-use mask. If your mask gets wet or damp, replace it immediately.
- Do not touch any part of your mask except the ear loops while donning or doffing.
- Do not remove the mask while talking to someone or do other things that would involve touching the mask.
- Do not stock face masks. Let them be available for those who really need it i.e. healthcare workers and public service providers.
- Do not wear masks while exercising or doing strenuous work especially when you have a condition like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart diseases.
- To read more about why you shouldn’t wear a mask while exercising, click here.
HOW TO CORRECTLY WEAR AND REMOVE A FACE MASK:
- Wash your hands with alcohol-based hand wash or soap and water for 30 secs.
- Hold the mask with the ear loops taking care that the coloured surface is on the outside.
- Hold the first ear loop with your thumb and place it on the back of the ear. Do the same for the second.
- Disinfect hands again
- To remove the mask, hold the loops by the thumb and remove the first one, then the second
- Gently remove the mask from your face taking care not to touch the outside of the mask
- Discard it immediately in a closed bin
- Disinfect hands again.
To watch a video about how to wear and remove the mask correctly, click here.
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Remember that we are in this together and we will get through it together! Be home and stay safe!
Author- Dr. Tasneem .H. Soni
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