Coronavirus has already affected more than 2 million people worldwide and there’s still no sign of a vaccine. In these stressful times, do we leave ourselves vulnerable to an infection that’s spreading so quickly because there isn’t access to a vaccine as of yet? Definitely not; the authorities like the WHO and CDC have provided extensive guidelines on their website on the subject.
A series of protective measures are advised to reduce the chances of catching an infection. One strong weapon against the Coronavirus is a face mask. Besides learning how to make one (since there is a shortage in the market), you will also need to learn how to apply a face mask. Both of these points will prove highly beneficial against the virus.
Who should be using a face mask?
Before learning how to apply a face mask, it’s a good idea to know exactly who should be using these face masks.
- WHO only recommends the use of face masks by those who are infected with the COVID-19 or showing symptoms of the disease, health workers, and those taking care of the patients.
- The CDC recommends its use for everyone but advises healthy people to use homemade face masks, leaving the medical masks for the sick and the doctors.
- Different countries and states have their own rules. In the places that were hit worse by the virus such as Italy, it is required by the law for everyone to wear face masks in public.
In view of all of the points above, it seems like a good idea to wear a face mask when you’re around people. It will lower the chances of transmission of the disease from you to other people and also from others to you.
How to apply a face mask if you have COVID-19
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, don’t wait for a test to confirm the illness. Start taking appropriate measures to prevent those who are close to you from catching the infection. Stay at home, keeping yourself isolated from the rest of the family.
Also, you should be wearing a surgical mask whenever you are with someone else, whether it’s a healthcare provider or a member of the family. If you do not know how to apply a face mask correctly, it might not be able to offer the same level of protection that it’s designed for. Follow these tips when using a face mask:
- Before touching the face mask, wash your hands with soap and water or sanitize it.
- Check for any damage to the mask. If there’s a tear, it’s rendered unusable.
- The top of the mask is where the metal strip is located.
- Position the mask in front of you with the colored side facing outwards.
- Place the mask over your face, covering the nose and mouth.
- The metal bridge should be directly over your nose, tighten it to adjust to the shape of your nose.
- If there are ear loops, pull them securely behind your ears.
- In case there are long straps pull them behind your head and tie the lower one around the nape of your neck while the other one around the widest section of your head.
- Adjust the mask until it covers your nose, mouth, and also your chin.
- Once you are done with the application of the mask, don’t touch it until you are ready to take it off.
- If touching the mask is unavoidable while you are wearing it, sanitize or wash your hands right after you have touched it.
- Take the mask off from the ear loops or straps, taking care not to touch the front of the mask.
- Throw it away immediately and sanitize or wash your hands after doing so.
That is how to apply a face mask if you are sick with Coronavirus or are showing similar symptoms. You can get these medical face masks at a nearby drug store. The better option is to order it online so you won’t have to go out in public and risk other people.
Wearing a face mask when taking care of a Corona patient
You should also be wearing a face mask while taking care of a Corona patient. If you have a patient in the family, keep them isolated in a separate room until they recover completely. Follow these steps to learn how to apply a face mask if you are taking care of a Corona patient:
- The patient should be allocated a room (with bathroom) solely to themselves, which is not visited by anyone else in the family.
- Wear a face mask every time you are in the same room as the patient.
- Put the mask on before entering the room.
- Do not touch the front side of the mask all the while that you are there.
- Pull it out from the ear loops or straps only once you are out of the patient’s room.
- Discard the mask right away.
- Clean your hands either with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water.
- Additionally, remember to use gloves when handling their laundry or utensils. Discard these gloves right after use and wash your hands thoroughly.
Some additional points to remember
During the pandemic, here are some additional points to remember regarding face masks, once you have learned how to apply a face mask:
- N95s are only for use by the health care workers since they are at maximum risk of catching the infection.
- As for surgical masks, only wear them while you are sick, or if you are taking care of someone who is sick.
- Don’t wear a mask if it restricts your breathing. Instead, you can focus on other preventive measures such as social distancing to avoid catching the virus.
- Surgical masks are only meant for one-time use. You’ll need to throw it away once you’ve used it.
- If there’s a tear in the face mask, or if it’s damp, in both cases it’s unusable and will not give you the protection that it’s meant to.