As the Coronavirus keeps spreading, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially recommended that people cover their faces with masks in any situation or setting in which it’s hard to follow social distancing measures. However, just wearing a mask doesn’t guarantee effectively protecting yourself and others from the virus. Many people make critical mistakes when wearing the mask that could make you and those around you susceptible to infection. Here are the mistakes you probably make when wearing a mask.
The first is a pretty standard mistake and is wearing the mask only on your face. You must cover both your mouth and your nose. We breathe from both our nose and mouth, so by not covering our noses, we risk inhaling viral particles. If you don’t protect your nose with the mask, you also risk contamination from the mask itself, which collects germs and droplets on its exterior. Another mistake by that same logic is lowering the mask to the chin/ neck area. By doing that, we are transferring all the bacteria that existed in our airways to that area.
Another mistake you are maybe making is touching your mask with unclean hands. It’s been well-established by now that the first line in defense against the virus is washing your hands. Many fail to realize that by the same logic, you should wash your hands before and after every time you touch your mask. According to Jay Woody, MD, FACEP, chief medical officer of Intuitive Health and a co-founder of Legacy ER & Urgent Care, “the highest risk of contamination is the front of the face mask.” So, to avoid contracting it or making the mask pointless, wear and remove it by using the ear loops rather than by touching the protective layers that come into contact with your face. Please also avoid bringing your mask in contact with your stuff, and not just your body.
I hope you’ll find these tips helpful and that they will help you wear your mask correctly. Please take care of yourself and remain safe.