As the number of people suffering from COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise, the CDC recommends everyone to wear a cloth mask when they go out in public. In addition to wearing face masks, experts advise everyone to practice social distancing and other precautionary measures.
Recent studies have shown that a majority of people with coronavirus do not show any symptoms, and some may be pre-symptomatic. However, even asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people can transmit the virus to others according to an advisory published by the CDC.
Wear Masks to Better Control the Virus This means that COVID-19 can spread between people interacting in close proximity with each other even if they do not show any symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends everyone wear cloth face coverings when they are in public settings where social distancing is challenging to practice, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
Wearing a Mask Will Protect Others from Those with the Virus Many people unknowingly spread the disease by coughing, sneezing, or touching others. This can be prevented if they wear a mask. It should be considered both as a precaution and courtesy to yourself and those next to you. A cloth mask alone does not help prevent you from inhaling microscopic virus particles. However, it will provide you with some respiratory protection and reduce the dumping of your virus droplets on various surfaces.
Cloth Face Masks Are Not Respirators Cloth face coverings aren’t respirators like N95 masks, usually worn by doctors and medical professionals who come into close contact with COVID-19 patients. N95 masks form a firm seal over the mouth and nose and filter the entire air coming in or out. On the other hand, cloth masks are not airtight and are mostly used to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Stay Cautious on Other Safety Measures Make sure that masks do not give you a false sense of protection. For example, if you put on a mask and go to the nearby grocery store and touch everything, you are still at risk. So, keep in mind that you should be vigilant about other important COVID-19 prevention methods such as handwashing and social distancing in addition to wearing a face mask.
How to Handle a Cloth Mask? It is important to learn how to handle a cloth mask if you use them. Always refrain yourself from handling the mask without washing your hands. Also, make sure you touch on the bands and not on the cloth while taking them off. Cloth masks should be cleaned with a detergent containing bleach daily or after every extended period of use.
How to make a mask? Cloth masks can be made at home from common materials at a low cost. They should fit snugly but easily against the side of your face and should be secured with ear loops. They should also allow easy breathing, include multiple fabric layers, and should be easy to wash. Keep in mind that an uncomfortable mask may lead to more risk of contamination as you will need to adjust it more often.
Remember, masks are very effective in controlling the spread in the environment, so wear a mask every time you go out in public areas.