We all know about the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Being in a pandemic is scary for many of us out there. The media, medical, and government officials have all asked us to remain indoors, not to touch our face, and to wash our hands regularly.
Due to social distancing and protecting yourself and others around you, people are now seen wearing masks. These masks are of different make and material. Very few people are aware of what type of mask to wear. Let us first discuss the different types of masks available on the market.
TYPES OF MASKS AND THEIR EFFECTIVENESS
The main reason to wear a mask to protect our nose and mouth from the virus. It means that it protects us from the sneeze and cough droplets of a sick person. Wearing a mask prevents the droplets from landing on surfaces and other people. However, not all masks are useful for this purpose. Let us have a look at what is best during the pandemic
- Homemade masks
These masks are those made out of cloth. Many people are teaching how to make masks at home. However, are these effective? CDC recommends that you can wear cloth masks in a public environment. It applies the same for a place where people cannot maintain social distance. You must wash this mask regularly.
- Surgical masks
These are green colored three-ply masks available in the market. You must have seen doctors wearing them all the time. Sick people and their caretakers must wear these masks at all times. It protects the sick people from spreading the germs to healthy ones. However, an ill-fitted surgical mask can allow the virus to enter your airway.
- N95 respirator
Health care workers must wear this mask at all times. This is because of their constant exposure to sick people. It blocks 95% of the germs from entering into the airway.
NOT ALL MASKS ARE THE SAME
Studying about the masks, we know that N95 masks are the best options. However, the CDC recommends that the public should not use these masks. It is because of the shortage of N95 masks for health care workers. It is also essential to know the right practices to wear and remove the mask to make it more effective. Remember that not wearing a mask the right way, always leaves a chance to contract an infection.
THE RIGHT PROCEDURE TO WEAR AND REMOVE A MASK
Wash your hands before wearing a mask. Fix the loops on your ears. Bend the metallic strip (if available) over the bridge of your nose to fit it. Pull the mask so that it completely covers your chin. Make sure that your masks fit perfectly. Do not touch the mask after it is in position. Replace the mask after a day.
When you wish to remove the mask, wash your hands. Never touch the mask. You can handle it from the loops. Dispose of the used masks in a covered trash can and wash your hands.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF DURING PANDEMIC?
If you follow these steps, then there is a high chance that you will not be one of the patients during this pandemic.
- Stay at home. We cannot emphasize this enough. Only leave your homes in case of emergency
- Wash your hands with soap and water. An alcohol-based sanitizer can be an alternative to washing your hands.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with dirty hands.
- Wear a mask in public settings.
- Maintain social distance in public settings.