Complete Guide To Wearing Face Masks

Complete Guide To Wearing Face Masks

The New York Occasions and Washington Post have now come round to a position I advocated for right here on Medium final week: We must always all be wearing masks. Not just health care workers, but ALL of us. Whenever we go out in public.
Why?
Because they work.
Analysis from the SARS outbreak in 2003 shows that washing fingers 10+ occasions every day was fifty five% efficient in stopping virus transmission; wearing a mask was really more effective, reducing transmission by about sixty eight%.
Combining a number of forms of protection — hand washing, mask wearing, gloves, and one other layer of outerwear (gowning) — was ninety one% effective.
Read that again: 91% efficient 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 stop transmission of the other.
Masks work, first, because they're a physical barrier to whatever’s using along on that air you’re breathing or moving through. Here’s a chart showing the relative barrier effectiveness for various materials:

Secondly, they work because they keep you from touching your face all day long. The masks makes you more self-conscious of the fact that you’re not supposed to touch your face- specifically, your mouth, nostril, and eyes, and the areas around them- and if you unintentionally do, you’ll touch the mask, not your skin directly.
Third, the experience of other international locations who mask show that masks work within the real world. In the words of Jeremy Howard, researcher and Masks4All activist, explaining a chart in his current Youtube video showing how some international locations have successfully "flattened the curve" on new infections: "If you 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 could be considered anti-social." He notes that the Czech Republic went from zero masks usage to one hundred% in 10 days, and in the process they halted the expansion of new covid-19 cases. The Czechs made their own masks- the government didn’t give them out.


In case you nonetheless should be persuaded, take a look at this Chinese research of an area outbreak case on January 22 in the course of the peak Lunar New Year journey season. A sick particular person on the bus who did not interact with anyone spread the virus to 7 others, a few of whom have been seated much more than 6 ft away. Two new passengers caught the virus 30 minutes 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 precisely the place people have been sitting on the bus.
So let’s say you’re convinced, and now you’re thinking of some form of face covering. What are your options?
First, please don’t buy masks commercially, if by some miracle you may 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 dearth of foresight that caused us to be in such a place of shortage, is probably why we initially obtained this messaging of "Masks don’t work!" They do, of us just didn’t want you to know it for a while, to avoid a run on masks. Think of the empty cabinets in supermarkets across America where toilet paper used to live, and you understand why.
The simplest thing you can do to masks NOW are to use supplies around the house. Get artistic; anything that covers the mouth and nostril and stays in place will work.

While it’s best if the mask fits well and there aren't any gaps between your face and the outside air, don’t surrender on your homemade masks in the event you can’t achieve that. Any face covering will maintain you from touching the skin around your nose and mouth directly, which could transform a very powerful mechanism by which masks block virus transmission. For those who inadvertently touch your face while you’re wearing a mask, you’ll just touch the masks, not your skin.
You possibly can try to shape your face covering using pipe cleaners or opened-up rubber-coated paper clips in the part that goes over your nose to make a tighter fit — experiment. The most important thing is that you wash your arms, put on your face covering, and go out of the house protected.

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