At the beginning of 2020, the world was hit pretty hard with the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19. Many have unfortunately died from this virus, while many more are infected with it. Medical experts have been rushing to find treatments and a working vaccine, but so far, we have a lot more panic than we do solutions. Many nations are still dealing with outbreaks and partial shut-downs and government-mandated orders to wear masks. While this might seem like pretty straightforward stuff, there is a proper way to wear a disposable mask and several improper ways.
One of the biggest issues we see is that many people who wear their disposable face masks are wearing them incorrectly, with the mask hanging off their nose, down below their chin, or barely clinging onto their faces. Many end up ripping the loops off or saturating the mask until it’s no longer effective. So, to help, let’s go over ways to use your cloth mask properly.
Steps to Using a Face Mask Properly
1: Be Careful Removing the Mask
The first step to properly wearing a cloth mask is to open it and remove it properly. You might be surprised to learn just how many people rip open the packaging and yank the masks out, not realizing how fragile they are if not handled the right way. The masks are much thicker and more durable than cheaper paper masks, but they’re still only thin cloth. If you happen to rip the cloth when opening the package, the mask may be useless. So open the package per the manufacturer’s directions and carefully remove the mask from its packaging. Take your time here; it will not take but a few seconds. Unfold the mask entirely, exposing the loops, and turn it the right way to get ready to place it on your face.
2: Gently Loop the Ears
The best thing about disposable face masks is that they’re pretty easy to put on. Each side will have a large elastic loop on the end, and what you do is the place these over the ears. However, it’s important to remember that you cannot pull or yank at these loops. What’s likely to happen is that they will break free from the cloth by the ends. The elastic is strong enough that it won’t break, but it can easily pull loose. What you want to do is gently place one loop over one ear, place the mask flat over your mouth and nose, and then gently pull the opposite loop over your other ear. This can be done in a quick second, though do it with some dexterity and don’t simply yank on it.
3: Create a Proper Seal
To ensure you’re wearing the mask properly, there’s an important way to think about it. You’re not wearing the mask so much so that nothing can get in; rather, you’re wearing it so that things cannot get out. You’re trying to trap in droplets from your nose and mouth, so the first thing you want to do is ensure that the mask covers your nose and mouth entirely. It also helps to create a good seal. Now, of course, you’re not going to get any kind of seal like the rubber on swim goggles. This is only cloth, after all. Just take another second of your time and press the mask’s edges and adjust so that there are no gaps. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be pulling the mask on and off. Not only will this allow droplets to get in and out without any protection, but the more often you’re pulling at the elastic, the higher the odds are of the elastic breaking loose, and thus, you will have to dispose of the mask much earlier than you would otherwise.
Disposable masks are affordable, very easy to use, and quite effective against the spread of all viral strains. This includes not only coronavirus strains but also different varieties of the flu, TB, and even the common cold. It’s well worth knowing how to wear your mask properly.