Wearing a face mask is important in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but only if you wear it the right way.
It is also important to REMOVE it the right way, or you could end up infecting yourself!
Learn the RIGHT way to wear your face mask, and the RIGHT way to remove it!
Face Mask : Effectiveness Of Each Type
There are many kinds of face masks in the market, but we are going to focus on the three main ones that are easy for you to get :
Some Effectiveness : Fashion Or Pitta Mask
- usually made from cotton or (better) polyurethane, without any specific protection rating
- includes home-made cotton masks recommended by the CDC and the Czechs in this category
Moderately Effective : 3-Ply Surgical Face Mask
- usually rated with bacterial filtration efficiency of >99% at 5 microns, and >95% at 3 microns
- has outer hydrophobic layer, which repels water, blood and body fluids,
- and a middle filter layer that is designed to filter bacteria, and finally,
- an inner hydrophilic layer, which absorbs water, sweat and spit
Highly Effective : N95 Respirator
- has a particle filtration efficiency of >95% at 0.3 microns
- must be properly fitted with a very close facial fit
In this article, we are going to focus on the 3-ply surgical face mask, which is the most common type of face mask used in China and most of Asia, to protect against SARS and now, the COVID-19 coronavirus.
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How To Wear A Face Mask Correctly
Here are some step-by-step instructions for wearing a face mask correctly :
- Clean your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitiser, before touching the mask
- Hold the mask with the stiff bendable strip on top, and the coloured side facing outwards.
- If the surgical mask has ear loops – hold the mask by the ear loops, and place a loop around each ear.
- If the surgical mask has ties – bring the mask to your nose and place the ties over the crown of your head, and secure by tying them in a bow.
- If the surgical mask has elastic bands – bring the mask to your nose and pull the top band over your head and let it rest on the crown of your head, and then pull the bottom strap over your head and let it rest on the nape of your neck.
- Mould or pinch the nose strip to conform to the shape of your nose.
- Pull the bottom of the surgical mask under your mouth and chin.
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How To Remove A Face Mask Correctly
After use, the mask will be dirty and contaminated and must be removed and disposed of properly.
So please follow these instructions, to avoid infecting yourself while removing your mask :
- Clean your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitiser, before touching the mask.
- AVOID touching the front of the mask, because it is contaminated. Only touch the ear loops / ear ties / ear bands.
- If the surgical mask has ear loops – hold and unhook both ear loops and gently lift the mask away from your face.
- If the surgical mask has ties – untie the bottom bow first, followed by the top bow, before pulling the mask away from your face
- If the surgical mask has elastic bands – lift the bottom strap over your head first, and then pull the top strap over your head
- Holding the mask only by the ear loops / ear ties / ear bands, dispose of the mask in the trash.
- Clean your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitiser again, before touching anything else.
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Where To Buy Face Masks
Fashion / Pitta Face Masks
3-Ply Surgical Face Masks
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