Day 61..and all is well!
Oh goodness, even I have succumbed to the Covid-19 madness. In almost a blink of the eye, masks have become a symbol of social responsibility around the world. The last two days I have journaled about masks; the kinds, how to make; today I’m going to talk about how to wear them correctly. Oh…who would have thought we would be discussing the dos and don’t of mask-wearing!
The masks are essential to reducing the spread of the coronavirus. This isn’t the first pandemic to hit planet Earth; and it won’t be the last. But what is important about Covid-19 is it is a new virus. Our immune systems have built themselves up overtime from the flu, the common cold, and other viruses. Our immune systems have never been exposed to this virus or similar viruses which means it’s all foreign. As the news has discussed for weeks, there is no vaccine for anyone regardless of age, race, economic status. We are all truly in this together.
It’s been estimated 25% of people with coronavirus feel fine and don’t show any symptoms; but are still contagious. That’s 1 in 4 people, and we could be one of them. That is why it’s so important to wear a mask to not only protect you, but others.
By wearing a mask you are preventing droplets that are put into the air by coughing, sneezing, and even talking. The mask blocks the droplets from transferring from you to other person; and from other people to you.
Even if you are practicing social distancing and washing your toughly, and wearing a mask it is extremely important to wear your mask properly. So…for your sake and everyone else’s lets talk the dos & don’t of wearing a mask.
When picking a cloth mask choose a mask with multiple layers. A study published by the American Chemical Society found by having multiple layers of fabric increases the effectiveness of blocking airborne particles. The study went on to say more tightly woven materials, such as high-thread-count cotton, offers even better filtration.
If you have the ability to add a filter to your mask, do so. The filter is going to provide yet another layer of protection from airborne particles. I know there was a time during the pandemic is was hard to find filters in the store. This led to people being resourceful and using household materials such as paper towels, coffee filters and even ladies’ stockings. If you use household materials make sure the air goes through the filter instead of around it. It’s best if you place the filter between two or more layers of fabric, but make sure you can remove the fabric and replace after use.
Before you put your mask on make sure to wash your hands; and if water isn’t available use hand sanitizer.
Try to the best of your ability to not touch the fabric as that is what filters and catches the germs; you don’t want to spread whatever germs have been trapped.
The hardest thing for me to do…or not do is not touch my face while wearing the mask. It is so hard to keep your hands to yourself; but if you touch your face there’s a high chance you can transfer germs to your face meaning you are increasing your chances of getting sick.
Since the whole point of the mask is to prevent airborne pathigens from getting to your face it’s important to wash your mash often. Your mask is catching germs with each wear; so it’s important to wash the mask to remove the germs. Since my boyfriend means so much to me, and he is an essential worker I made him enough masks to wear one everyday and toss in the laundry. If you don’t have the ability to wash your mask everyday try to sanitize it by hand-washing it with warm water and detergent. Try not to use harsh chemicals like bleach or hydrogen peroxide which will ruin the effectiveness of the fabric fibers.
When putting your mask on make sure you are getting complete coverage of your face. The mask should cover from near the bridge of your nose do to under your chin. The mask needs to stretch about halfway from your cheekbones to your ears or more.
Always make sure the mask fits snug against your face.
If your mask has pleats; the folds need to be pointed downward.
Peter Hessler, a writer for the New Yorker, wrote an interesting piece called Life in Lockdown in China where he named the different ways people wear their masks. I actually find this quite humorous and think it’s important to acknowledge there is really only one way to wear your mask; properly on your face.
Here’s is a brief collection of names Hessler has given mask positions:
Holster: mask is pulled down and resting on the neck
Flap Jack: when the mask is hanging off one ear while the person talks on the phone
Low Rider: when the person is pretending to obey the rules; but actually, tug the mask down below the nose.
My boyfriend is an essential worker and required to wear a mask. Early on into the pandemic I was making daily trips to his house to modify his masks since he not only wears glasses but has a beard that he wasn’t ready to shave off. When wearing a mask it can send warm air from your breath to your glasses causing them to fog. There are different options to prevent this such as a nose guard in the mask to seal it up, and anti-fog treatments for the lenses such as Z Clear; a paste for anti-static, scratch-filler, and anti-fog.
This is a post from Pinterest that I used to make a mask for my bearded man
Now that we have discussed the right way to wear the mask; when do you need to wear the mask? Being in social isolation I try to take walks in my neighborhood multiple times a day. It’s a great idea, but everyone has the same idea!
So, whether you are going shopping for groceries, filling up your gas tank, or just walking the dog; wear your mask. It’s what the cool kids are doing!
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