I would like to take the opportunity to highlight some key points to consider when wearing facemasks.
- First investigate the quality and the durability the product: How many layers are integrated? Has it got adjustable bands and a nose wire? What materials are used? Is the product washable and therefore reusable?
- It is very important that the nose, mouth and cheeks are well covered. If the mask is not sitting tightly on the face, the exhaled droplets can easily escape into the air and in reverse be contracted through the gaps rather than being held back. So ensure you adjust the wire fitting over the nose, so no air can escape when breathing out.
- When you put the mask on, it is important to handle the mask with clean and washed hands. Also avoid touching the inside of the mask. The best way is to only hold the mask at the corners or the bands.
- If the fabric is starting to get wet, the mask needs to be changed as it won’t provide the same level of protection as before. It is therefore advisable to have several masks available, so they can be used when needed.
- The used mask should be put into a sealable bag and then either disposed of or in this case washed at home. The mask should not be shared or get worn more than once at a time as the virus can stick to it for several days. Remember that the mask can be contaminated from the inside and the outside
- When wearing the mask, keep following all other hygiene guidelines such as regular hand-washing and maintaining a social distance of 2 metres or more. There is a risk of being lulled into a false sense of safety and behaving as if the mask on its own provides sufficient protection from infection when that is clearly not the case.
- Although the use of non-medical facemasks remains controversial in terms of protection against an infection, a well-fitted mask can assist in reducing the spread of the virus at source and protect others around us from catching droplets that would be otherwise released into the air when breathing out. This might be of significant benefit, especially in enclosed spaces like shops or public transport.
Please share this post most especially with key workers and vulnerable people, or contact me with any questions about facemasks (or osteopathy!) at email@example.com.