COVID-19 – Face Mask Mistakes

We’re supposed to wear a face mask to protect those around us from a disease we may not yet realise we’re carrying. The mask is supposed to stop carriers giving the virus to others, and from others from catching it. If you make these common mistakes, you’ll be putting yourself and others at risk.

Wearing a mask with your nose exposed

The nose is where the virus is inhaled. If you’re not covering your nose, you’re increasing your chances of inhaling high viral loads. Of course, if you have Coronavirus, you could sneeze and expose those near you to it. Sometimes it’s temping to taking the mask down a little. Perhaps you’re struggling to breath or you feel very hot and uncomfortable under the mask. If so, you’ll just have to make the best of things. This is a small sacrifice for the greater good.

Wearing a dirty mask

When COVID-19 first hit, the big headlines revolved around washing your hands. That was the most important thing. What about your mask? How often do you wash that? Wearing a dirty mask makes transferring the germs far easier. You need to wash your hands, your face and your mask as soon as you remove it.

Disposable masks

There’s nothing wrong with disposable masks but there’s a certain way they should be worn. You need the white side against your face and the blue side exposed. That’s because the blue side is waterproof, and the white side is absorbent.

Facemask that’s too small

Let’s get real for a moment. We can’t all wear the same sized facemask. Don’t do the equivalent of an overweight guy stuffing himself into tight jeans and try and get away with a mask that doesn’t cover your nose and mouth. The mask needs to cover both, and it needs to fit over your chin. If it’s too small, it won’t protect you or those around you. A small mask is also one you will keep adjusting. If you’re touching your mask with contaminated hands, you’re transferring contaminants to it.

Too thin or too thick

If the mask’s too thick, you won’t be able to breath. If it’s too thin, it won’t block the virus. As with the mask’s size, you need to judge what’s best for you. Be careful not to get trapped into the fashion side of this thing. Masks by designer labels might not be the best protection.

Wearing a mask without sunscreen

This is an epic fail that needs to be highlighted. The outline of the mask will be clear on your face after a day in the sun if you don’t use sunscreen. You’ll get funny tan lines, but you may also damage your skin. And the mask doesn’t necessarily stop the UV light from getting to the skin underneath. A mask has an SPF factor of 10. If you sweat and the mask becomes loose or stretchy, that factor lowers even further.

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