By now, we all know about the Pandemic outbreak, and it is strictly recommended to everyone to use face masks. The face mask’s usage is good as it protects the person wearing it and others from the spread of viral infections.
But these face masks can help limit the spread of the infections only if they are used correctly and safely. Besides this, keeping social distance and washing hands regularly is also necessary.
What is a Face Mask?
A face mask, also known as a face shield, is a widespread thing that is being used by many people for years to safeguard them and their skin against the pollution and other harmful particles. Now, it is becoming a need during the pandemic outbreak.
Earlier, people used masks as per their choice of preventing sunburn, infections, and by females, primarily to protect their beautiful skin. But, as this time, the need is something different, so people are mostly wearing medically designed masks to deter infection.
It helps in protecting against viral infections, which mainly spread through droplets present at various surfaces or while talking, coughing, and sneezing. Thus, Masks are presently acting as a lifesaver in this severe condition.
[Also Read: Best Types of COVID-19 Face Masks]
Why is there a need to wear a mask?
The need to use a face mask is to safeguard humanity against the spread of the deadly virus spreading at a rapid rate. As mentioned above, the face mask is a necessary preventive measure. Can face masks help in slowing down the spread of this virus?
The answer is, “Most Probably.” Face Masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help to reduce the spread of the virus to a great extent(1).
The reasons for this are as follows:
- It is found that mandatory instruction to wear masks is helping to reduce the daily infection growth rate, which became more apparent over time.
- The virus can be spread by coughing, sneezing, and speaking without even showing the symptoms at the initial stage; face mask acts as a protecting shield.
- Face masks help to reduce the transfer of viruses in the community, especially when traveling in public transport and crowded areas.
- Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory and air-borne infections that travel through the air.
- Masks are cost-effective, easily available, and can be used conveniently.
- The use of a face mask, cloth covering, or face shield is the most important protective measure where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
If I wear my face covering to protect me from you, and you wear your face covering to protect you from me, then we can all dramatically decrease our risk of virus transmission and the pandemic.
Steps to Use Face Mask Properly
Face masks or shields are important ways to protect ourselves and others against viral infections, but they’re useful only when worn properly. So, when you put on the face mask, make sure your mask will cover the most exposed spots on your face: the mouth and the nose.
Various Levels of wearing face masks/face coverings
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Take the hood, and hold with the ear loops. Wear it in a way that it should cover your nose and mouth and place the loops over your ears. Make sure that there is no dart in the mask.
Take care of the sides of the face mask. The side of the mask that has a bendable edge should be at the top as it is meant to mold to the shape of your nose.
Pinch the metal strip or stiff edge of the mask to let it take your nose’s shape. Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.
Clean your hands with Soap and Water or use Hand Sanitizer after touching the mask. Avoid touching the front part as it can be contaminated. Only touch the ear loops, hold them, and gently take off the mask to wash it or dispose of it immediately.
Dispose of the used mask into the dustbin. Again wash your hand thoroughly with soap and water after disposing of the mask.
[Also Read: 5 Tips to avoid Bad Breath Under Your Face Mask]
Dos and Don’ts of Wearing a Face Mask
It is important to take various precautionary measures while wearing a face mask. These measures are as follows:
- Face masks should not be worn by Children younger than 2 years as it may create trouble in breathing.
- A disabled person, or who is unable to remove the face mask without assistance, should not go outside unless most necessary, in need, also, they should cover the face with a handkerchief or other preventive cloth.
- Ensure your mask has multiple layers of tightly-woven fabric and fits snugly (no open flaps). Also, it shouldn’t be too tight that it may create trouble in breathing.
- Wash hands with soap and water (or use sanitizer only in emergency) for 20 seconds prior to putting on and after touching or taking off a mask.
- Don’t neglect other preventive practices such as Social Distancing, while wearing a mask.
- Only wear clean and breathable face masks.
- Re-wearing the same disposable mask could expose you to contaminants.
- Avoid wearing the same washable mask for a longer period of time, especially if taken off at a point of time.
- Make sure your nose, mouth, and chin are covered.
- Omit false sense of security. You can still get infected by touching your eyes, which are obviously not covered by face mask. So, touching or rubbing eyes with unclean hands should be strictly avoided.
- Don’t move your mask down on your chin to eat or drink. Remove it completely, perform hand hygiene, and then put it back on snugly when done.
One must consider the above information to maintain health and fitness during the pandemic as well as during the chances of the spread of any infection. It is dominant to be watchful to the current scenario, but if you are unaware of this scheme, it will lead you to danger.
Always keep in mind it is important to take precautionary measures to prevent oneself from the pandemic and also to take care that we should not put ourselves at any other risk.
About the Author:
Dr. Vikram Chauhan – MD (Ayurveda) is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda and Krishna Herbal Company. He is an author of Book – God’s Manual For Healing. He is an expert Ayurveda consultant from Chandigarh and practicing in Mohali, India.