During a bad disease outbreak, like the current global Coronavirus epidemic, health departments strongly recommend that members of the public wear surgical masks to protect themselves and others.. These masks are generally designed to be a bit loose fitting while being able to completely cover both the mouth and nose.
Surgical masks are mainly used by health care professionals to protect themselves and others from spreading airborne infectious diseases and bodily fluids.
Just like we have seen people in China do, at some point, there might be a need to wear surgical masks to avoid spreading the virus. So, here’s Ibiene’s curated guide to wearing the mask properly.
First thorougly wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer. A side tip; after cleaning your hands, use the same paper towel to open the door before disposing it off. That way you don’t get your hands dirty again.
Pick an unused mask and check for defects. Check it to ensure it doesn’t have any defects, holes or tears. If it does, please throw away and pick another.
Pick up the mask in the right orientation. Ensure the bendable side is facing upwards before applying the mask to your face – the top portion of the mask should have a bendable, but stiff, edge that can be moulded around your nose. Make sure it is the lighter coloured side of the mask that is touching your face.
To have a firm hold of the mask over your face, each mask has different methods of attaching it to your head. Some come with Ear Loops on either side of the mask or Straps, or bands. Which ever way tie the bottom strap to the base of your skull and then tie the top strap to the middle of the back of your head. For bands, first pull the bottom band over the top of your head and place it at the base of your skull and then the top band follows.
Please note that not all surgical masks come with different colours on the two sides. Some come in all white, all green, pale yellow, striped yellow but they all have a protective plastic shield. To tell you which side faces your mouth and which faces outward, there is usually a foam pad or sticky strip that is on the top side of the mask, this is the side that should be placed against the face and nose so that it keeps your breath from escaping around the upper part.
Before removing the mask, it is recommended that you wash your hands to avoid touching your face with the same hands you have used to touch other surfaces that might have been infected. After removing the mask, place it inside a plastic disposable pack before dropping it in the dedicated bin and then wash hands again before wearing another. Here’s a tip; do not touch the surface of the mask. Hold the strap while removing it.
Never use a tissue or paper towel as replacement for surgical mask because there are particles that in the tissue you can inhale for as long as it is placed over your nose and mouth. This could cause some medical complications. Moreover, fluids can go through it easily.
You can help contain this virus, so please share this article with friends and family. Together, we can defeat COVID-19.