Complete Guide To Wearing Face Masks

Complete Guide To Wearing Face Masks

The New York Times and Washington Post have now come around to a place I advocated for right here on Medium last week: We should all be wearing masks. Not just health care workers, but ALL of us. Each time we exit in public.
Why?
Because they work.
Research from the SARS outbreak in 2003 shows that washing hands 10+ occasions every day was 55% effective in stopping virus transmission; wearing a masks was actually more efficient, reducing transmission by about sixty eight%.
Combining multiple types of protection — hand washing, masks wearing, gloves, and one other layer of outerwear (gowning) — was ninety one% effective.
Read that again: 91% effective at stopping virus transmission.
COVID-19 and SARS are similar types of viruses (coronaviruses), and it makes sense that what works to cease transmission for one will work to cease transmission of the other.
Masks work, first, because they are a physical barrier to no matter’s driving along on that air you’re breathing or moving through. Right here’s a chart showing the relative barrier effectiveness for varied materials:

Secondly, they work because they keep you from touching your face all day long. The masks makes you more self-aware of the fact that you’re not supposed to touch your face- specifically, your mouth, nose, and eyes, and the areas around them- and if you accidentally do, you’ll touch the masks, not your skin directly.
Third, the experience of other nations who mask show that masks work within the real world. Within the words of Jeremy Howard, researcher and Masks4All activist, explaining a chart in his recent Youtube video showing how some countries have successfully "flattened the curve" on new infections: "For those who have a look at all the countries which have flat curves, they are countries where mask-wearing is extremely regular, and NOT wearing a masks in places like public transport can be considered anti-social." He notes that the Czech Republic went from zero masks utilization to a hundred% in 10 days, and within the process they halted the expansion of new covid-19 cases. The Czechs made their own masks- the federal government didn’t give them out.


For those who still need to be persuaded, take a look at this Chinese research of a local outbreak case on January 22 throughout the peak Lunar New Year journey season. A sick person on the bus who did not interact with anybody spread the virus to 7 others, a few of whom had been seated a lot more than 6 ft away. Two new passengers caught the virus half-hour after the original sick person had left the bus. NONE OF THE PEOPLE WEARING MASKS WERE INFECTED. Read the article, it’s very detailed, with a schematic of exactly where folks were sitting on the bus.
So let’s say you’re convinced, and now you’re thinking of some sort of face covering. What are your options?
First, please don’t buy masks commercially, if by some miracle you would discover them now. Commercially made PPE ought to be reserved for medical personnel at this time. Sadly, the shortage of commercially made PPE, and the shortage of foresight that caused us to be in such a place of scarcity, is probably why we initially got this messaging of "Masks don’t work!" They do, folks just didn’t need you to know it for a while, to avoid a run on masks. Think of the empty shelves in supermarkets across America the place rest room paper used to live, and you perceive why.
The simplest thing you can do to mask NOW are to make use of materials around the house. Get creative; anything that covers the mouth and nose and stays in place will work.

While it’s greatest if the mask matches well and there are not any gaps between your face and the outside air, don’t quit on your homemade masks in the event you can’t achieve that. Any face covering will preserve you from touching the skin around your nose and mouth directly, which may transform an important mechanism by which masks block virus transmission. In the event you inadvertently contact your face while you’re wearing a mask, you’ll just contact the mask, not your skin.
You possibly can try to form your face covering utilizing pipe cleaners or opened-up rubber-coated paper clips within the part that goes over your nostril to make a tighter fit — experiment. Crucial thing is that you wash your arms, put in your face covering, and exit of the house protected.