COVID-19 Basic Protection Guide 101: How to Get the Most from Your Mask

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is an infectious respiratory disease with several symptoms, which can be mild, moderate, or severe. These symptoms include cough, fever, tiredness, loss of smell or taste, etc.

Wearing a face mask is a vital aspect of the safety measures and precautions against COVID-19. However, wearing a face mask alone is not enough to provide you with the proper level of safety against the virus. Also, there are essential things to know about face masks, like the type, the correct way of wearing them, and when to wear a mask. Thankfully, this article discusses everything you need to know about facemasks.

Types of Face Masks

The various types of face masks have different materials used in making them and varying levels of effectiveness and protection against the coronavirus. They include the following:

  • Fabric or Cloth Mask: CDC recommends using fabrics with high thread counts, such as microfiber and merino wool, or tightly woven fabric materials like cotton. These highly effective and breathable materials make them the best choice for cloth masks.
  • Surgical Face Mask: Surgical, medical, or procedural masks are disposable, relatively loose-fitting masks that are highly breathable. They effectively protect the wearer from harmful airborne particles and are made with non-woven fabrics or a mixture of plastic and paper.
  • Respirators: Respirators are specialised filtering masks that fit closely to your face filtering out particles, including the coronavirus. These respirators are the most effective as they can filter out 95% of airborne particles. Examples include the N95 respirators and the Australian P2 masks.

How to Safely Wear a Face Mask

There is a possibility that you have been wearing your face masks incorrectly. Here are some basic steps recommended by WHO that you should follow to ensure your maximum safety.

The Do’s of Wearing a Face Mask

  • Before touching the face mask, wash your hands properly with soap and running water or use a hand sanitiser.
  • Examine the face masks for damages and tears and ensure the face mask is clean.
  • Carefully adjust the face mask to your face, ensuring it doesn’t leave a gap on the sides and covers your nose, mouth, and chin. 
  • For surgical masks, ensure the coloured side is faced outwards and firmly place the metal piece over your nose.
  • Avoid touching or removing your face mask without washing or sanitising your hands. 
  • Remove the face mask by using the straps behind your head or ears and ensure you pull it away from your face.
  • If you intend to reuse the face mask, store it in a clean resealable plastic bag if the face mask is not wet or dirty.
  • Wash the face mask at least once daily in detergent or soap and water, preferably hot water. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after removing the face masks.

The Don’ts of Wearing a Face Mask

  • Avoid using a face mask that appears damaged or torn.
  • Don’t wear a loose and uncomfortable face mask.
  • Avoid wearing your face mask under your nose.
  • Don’t remove your face mask when there’s a crowd around you or where there’s a person within one meter.
  • Do not wear a face mask that makes breathing difficult.
  • Avoid wearing a wet or dirty face mask.
  • Avoid sharing your face mask with others, including your family and friends.

When to Use a Face mask

For optimal and highly effective protection against coronavirus, ensure you use your face mask outdoors or indoors, in crowded places, when talking to someone at a safe distance, sick, and coughing or sneezing. Make using a face mask a norm when you’re around people.

A highly recommended face mask, especially for people that wear glasses, is the Australian P2 mask. The Australian P2 mask is breathable and doesn’t fog up the surface of your glasses when you wear them. The fabrics of the Australian P2 mask do not rub on your lips when you’re talking, and it has comfortable elastic ear loops that don’t get painful after a long time. 

To wrap it up

The above guidelines are sure to help you get the most from your face masks and also keep you safe and protected against the dreaded COVID-19.

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