Confused about mask wearing guidelines? Here are the top eight tips to increase the effectiveness of wearing your mask
If you're the average person, you're probably confused. So many conflicting opinions. So many sources that say opposing things. Answers to questions so fundamental like -- Do masks even work? Should I wear a mask? I've heard only KN95 masks work? In the face of the Covid-19 crisis, on the one hand some states are requiring their residents to wear a mask outdoors. On the other, we're also sure you've heard at least a few voices claiming mask wearing is ineffective, or even detrimental. In an effort to make sense of all the mixed messages, we did a bit of research ourselves and want to share with you some of what we’ve learned.
What can I expect a mask to do and why should I wear one?
Studies have shown that Covid-19, as well as many other illnesses, are often transmitted through airborne droplets of moisture, such as those produced when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. Wearing a mask places a barrier between the wearer and their environment to absorb breath and sneeze droplets. It seems like an overkill when you're healthy, but when you’re sick, it's this layer that protects those around the sick person from getting sick.
Got it, so I should only be required to wear a mask when sick, right?
The unfortunate reality of COVID-19 is that it takes a long time (up to 2 weeks) for the body to feel sick, even when a person is contagious. That means 2 weeks of walking around infecting the community before someone realizes that they're sick. This is why the CDC recommends that everyone wear masks when they are out in public.
Alright, I'm getting it. But I'm pretty sure I'm not sick because I've been holed up. Why am I being required to wear a mask?
Wearing your mask and asking others to do the same is a simple and easy way to ensure that everyone contagious always has a mask. What you may not realize is that others are even more intended to wear their mask when they see you wearing your mask. Your simple act makes those around you accountable and is a simple act to serve your community during this difficult time.
So why choose to wear a fabric mask?
Many experts are realizing that asking people to wear N-95 or other medical-grade masks every day is just not practical. It’s true that if fitted perfectly and worn correctly, an N-95 or other medical grade mask is able to offer greater protection than a fabric mask... but in practice this is rarely what occurs. In reality, many people are wearing poorly fitting non-fabric masks that they constantly touch and adjust, which can make them much less effective than even the most basic mask worn correctly. As mask-wearing becomes a part of everyday activities like shopping, working, and even just walking down the street, fabric masks offer a practical form of protection for the average person.
What makes for a good fabric mask?
A great fabric mask needs to be both well-fitted and comfortable. Loose or poorly fitting masks and touching your mask are two of top reasons why transmission is likely even when wearing your mask.
The tighter the mask, the better the protection. The main purpose of wearing a mask is to filter the air that you breathe, in or out. Many people don’t realize that, since air will travel the path of least resistance, the more gaps around the edges of your mask, the more likely you will be breathing primarily unfiltered air.
We've also seen a lot of people play around with their masks. This is one of the most frequently cited arguments against the wide-spread use of masks. Because many masks on the market today—though trendy or colorful—are uncomfortable and ill-fitted to people’s faces, buyers often find themselves fiddling with or adjusting them frequently. One problem with this is that the moment someone touches their mask, whatever has been absorbed by the fabric has now also contaminated their hands and can be easily transferred to other areas. Along with this, with each time that you bring your hands to your face, you increase your risk of accidentally transferring germs picked up from touching other surfaces to your nose and mouth.
The best masks out on the market solve for both of these problems. In face, we took these factors into consideration when we drew up the designs for a MODMASK. With the help of easily adjustable straps and the second-skin-like fit produced by Micro Modal material, a MODMASK is able to be adjusted to fit just about any face shape or size. It fits you right. Every single time.
At MODMASK, we prioritize comfort for these very same reasons. We strive to produce a mask so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing it.
In closing, here are a few quick tips on how to maximize the effectiveness of your mask:
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask and after taking it off.
- When putting on or removing your mask, use only the ear loops and avoid touching the fabric.
- Make sure the mask is adjusted so it fits snugly, with no gaps between it and your face.
- Make sure to cover both your nose and your mouth with the mask.
- Continue to keep your distance from others even while wearing a mask.
- Avoid touching your mask while wearing it, and if you do accidentally touch it, wash or disinfect your hands before touching anything else.
- Thoroughly wash your mask after every use.
Written by Rachel Cassar
MODMASK Content Writer