June 23, 2020
As the world slowly starts to open from quarantine and cases of COVID-19 are still on the rise, the CDC is recommending that everyone wear a face mask out in public. Wearing a mask may not seem super intuitive but the main reason for wearing a face mask is to help protect others in our environment.
To highlight the importance of wearing a mask outside, the infographic above shows how virus transmission happens when a COVID-19 Carrier comes in contact with a Healthy Person.
Looking at the graphic, it’s safe to say that both people wearing a face mask helps to reduce the transmission risk.
Keeping this in mind is key when you’re on a grocery run or out for some errands.
So, check out these quick tips to help you to make sure that you’re wearing your mask effectively and safely when you’re out and about!
Tip #1 - Practice personal hygiene before wearing your mask.
So you’ve made your cloth mask and are ready to show it to the world… before you put your mask on it’s really important that you wash your hands prior to mask use and directly right after taking it off (if you can – although a hand sanitizer spritz is okay, in a pinch).
If you really want to go the extra mile, it also doesn’t hurt to be mindful and practice nasal hygiene! As cleaning your nasal areas helps to increase air flow, build on healthy living habits, and can make it easier and more comfortable to breathe while wearing a mask.
Tip #2 - Wear a proper fitting mask.
Making sure that you’re wearing your mask properly is a great start to ensuring your safety and that of others.
Having a mask that is too loose may lead you to fidget around and touch your mask. This is a huge red flag and discouraged simply because I’m sure you can think of all the things that could live on the surface of your mask…
Tip #3 - DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!
This might seem like a no brainer, but did you know that you -unknowingly- probably touch your face more often than you think, in an hour? This is definitely something to look into, especially if you’re outside and haven’t washed your hands prior to touching your face. Another study backs this up, where they explain that a small group of Medical Students were known to touch their face 23 times in an hour.
Now, why is touching your face not a good idea? It’s simply because you often touch other common surfaces and small microbes can stick to your fingers afterwards, which means that these can be easily transmitted to other areas that you touch in the future.
So, coming back to wearing masks and touching your face… the two don’t mix! And if anything, hopefully having a mask on your face prevents you from subconsciously reaching towards it.
At the end of the day, it’s nice to have a friendly reminder that healthy habits help us to stay safe and sound from potential contaminants around us. In our current world, it’s a good idea to be mindful of others by wearing masks outside and practicing good hygiene. Hopefully these easy tips will help you to transition into our “new normal” and you can share them with those around you.