After a while, there will be an end to this lockdown, and we need to start living with the Coronavirus situation. We will be stepping out and eventually try to resume our daily routine, be it going to the park, visiting the Doctor or eventually joining back office. There will be a new normal in which maintaining social distance will be important along with having seats spaced apart in buses, metro, offices and schools as well as compulsory use of sanitizers and face masks in public areas.
The face masks are already compulsory in many places, and it makes good sense as it not only protects you from others but protects them as well, by preventing the contamination. According to doctors at Medicana Bursa, 20% to 0% of people can be infectious without even symptoms and can spread the virus.
Due to shortage of N95, it is encouraged to wear a cloth mask, as a cloth mask is better than no mask at all. This becomes a necessary measure along with creating social distancing as it can create another level of filter for individuals.
Here are some essential points to keep in mind for buying a face mask that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• Don’t buy very thin masks. To choose a good mask, look for quilted cotton or any other thicker materials.
• Take care of the Fit. Before buying the mask, make sure the mask fits properly on your face and covers the required area. Also, there should be no gaps, and your mask should stay in place as you move.
• N95 masks, don’t panic if you are unable to find N95 masks, it is mostly reserved for professionals who are on the frontline dealing with the patient.
Undoubtedly cloth masks are not as protective as N95, but if it is used with other precautions like social distancing, it can be an actual savoir.
The market of face masks is increasing exponentially to meet the demand due to pandemic. So one should always prioritize the qualities before buying a good cloth mask.
Here are a few points, which need to be considered.
1. Homemade or ready-made?
Both homemade or ready-made are fine options if the mask is used correctly. One should buy what appears reasonable to them. If you’re in a hurry or don’t have any market around, go with a no-sew, homemade option. There are so many videos of DIY masks that can help you make your own mask at home. You can also order one from the market according to your own choice.
2. 2 layers of fabric:
Make sure that you are choosing a cloth mask made up of at least 2 layers of tightly woven cotton fabric. Masks with high thread count can actually work as a filter as they block respiratory droplets and allows a person to breathe comfortably.
3. Custom Fit:
Mask should cover all the required parts of the face, and have a snug fit from nose to under the chin and back towards the ears. You must ensure it is not too big or too short for your face. You can also choose among different sizes but must remember to select the one in which you are able to breathe comfortably and don’t have to remove it frequently while you are in public. The purpose of wearing a mask is not fulfilled if there are any gaps in the fit.
4. Durability of cloth:
Especially while using a cloth mask, one should keep this in mind that it is reusable. Hence, it needs to be washed and sanitized properly after each use. hence, look or read reviews on wear and tear of cloth used in the mask. If filters are added in the mask, it should be changed or washed accordingly, for example, coffee filters should be changed every day. Also, check if the cloth used is pre-washed or not, so that there is no shrinkage afterwards.
Wearing a cloth mask is more of a social responsibility nowadays and it reflects that you respect and care about your own health and other health as well.
The cloth mask has to be washed regularly after each use, so look for reviews online that comment on the masks wear and tear. If you are adding a filter, cleaning it will depend on what kind of filter you use. A coffee filter should be thrown away after each use. Also, the fabric should be pre-washed so that you don’t need to worry about shrinkage. one can make it a style statement as well, since we have so many colors and options available.
5. Wise use of mask:
After finalizing the mask of your choice. It is recommended to check that you are able to untie or remove the loops of the mask from your ears, without touching the front of the mask, so that it is not contaminated.
Plan your outings in such a way that one has to remove the mask frequently to eat or drink or maybe to talk over the phone.
While exercising outdoors it will be difficult to keep the mask on the face when you are breathing hard. In that case, choose your exercise location carefully to make sure you can keep a physical distance from others and be safe.
If any individual feels the requirement of filters, they can use them as an added layer of protection. According to the CDC, one can add coffee filters to homemade masks.