With cases of coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) sprouting like mushrooms after a rainy day, we decided that for SunStar Tonight’s “Wellness Wednesday,” we should go back to the basics of wearing our face masks.
There may be several factors for the increase of Covid-19 cases in the country. This makes properly wearing and handling your face mask doubly important. After all, your face mask is your first line of defense against the disease.
So eyes here, people!
Tips on how to use and handle your face mask
1. Wash or disinfect your hands before and after touching the mask.
Cleaning or disinfecting your hands every time before and after you touch your mask is crucial in reducing contamination. Before you put your mask on, before and after you take it off—or even just to adjust it—it is important to make sure your hands are the squeakiest of clean.
Touching your mask with dirty hands will increase the germs in your layer of protection but also remember that that protective layer is where germs are trapped too, so don’t even think about touching your face right after you handle your mask until you have disinfected your hands.
Dirty hands + dirty mask = risky!
2. Touch only the bands or ties when putting on and taking off your mask.
This is the safe sister of Number 1. As much as possible, do not touch the front of your mask because—as we said—that protective layer is a hot spot for germs and impurities.
If it’s possible to only touch the bands, or even just the sides, that would be a better way to handle it.
3. Make sure the mask covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
We need to say it again for emphasis because the public has complained about seeing many people still not practicing this.
You are wearing the mask wrong if your nose is sticking out of it. You are wearing it wrong if there are big gaps on the side of your mask. Why? Because it’s like leaving your door open in the middle of the night for burglars to just walk in. The airborne germs and viruses still have huge access to your airways and the vulnerable areas of your face!
If you’re using a medical mask or a KN95, there should be a moldable side. That part is meant to be on the top and formed to fit the shape of your nose bridge. Please adjust accordingly.
4. Make sure you can breathe and talk comfortably through your mask.
Yes, it’s important to have your mask cover all the essential areas, but it’s also important for you to be able to breathe, talk and exist comfortably. The reason many people don’t like masks is that they have a difficult time breathing through them.
Naturally, masks block or hinder some parts of your breathing, but it shouldn’t be the case too much. Be aware of what you can handle. Maybe even try different shapes and kinds until you find one you can stick with because Covid-19 may be here for a while.
Not all masks are the one-mask-fits-all kind. Find your perfect mask. Find the comfort you can live with within the discomfort we are all facing caused by the pandemic.
5. When you take off a mask, practice proper after-wear post-care. Store it in a clean plastic bag or container, wash the fabric or dispose of it properly.
Fabric masks need to be changed and washed every couple of hours—every day at the very least. Long-lasting, reusable but non-washable masks need to be left under the sun for a few hours for disinfection. And medical or surgical masks need to be properly disposed of in the trash bin.
Like what was mentioned in Number 4, not all masks are the one-mask-fits-all kind. Depending on the material and instructions, each mask has its own set of after-wear post-care. There are even some kinds of mask material that offer more solid protection than others.
It’s best to do a little research as to how to handle your specific mask properly, so you have another layer of defense against the disease that works well for you.
We hope these tips help you reinforce your defense against our common enemy: Covid-19. Stay safe, take your vitamins, observe healthy lifestyle practices, and spread the word, not the virus.