Beware of some common masking errors
To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, you should wear a mask when you are indoors around other people. But common errors can leave you unprotected. Here are some mistakes you may be making -- and how to fix them.
You do not wash up before (and after) masking up
Before putting on your mask, wash your hands or use a 60% alcohol hand sanitiser to keep germs away. Handle your mask by the loops or ties, not the front or face. To remove it, grasp the ear loops or untie the strings. Then rewash your hands.
You do not wash a new mask
Even if it is brand new, numerous things are likely touched, especially if handcrafted. So, wash it in hot water with residue-free detergent. Rinse it well. Then dry. Then soak your mask for 5 minutes in 2 teaspoons bleach or a gallon of bleach.
You do not store it right
The mask is easily thrown upon the dashboard or seat. Meantime, your mask needs a clean home. Put it in a dry paper or mesh bag if it is not damp or dirty. Put it in a clean pocket or handbag if you are out to dine but not on the table. Next, wash your hands, then reapply.
You don a dirty mask
Masks attract germs and viruses. They can cause infections if worn against the face for too long. After each use, wash your mask in hot water. Or wash it in hot, soapy water for 20 seconds. Dry on high or in direct sunshine. Wear a clean spare.
Your mask has seen better days
It is time to retire your mask if it has holes or tears or is worn, sprung, or stained beyond repair. Also, make sure to wash your masks right away if they get moist from spit or sweat. Damp masks also do not function as well.
You reuse disposable masks
Disposable masks are one-time use. With a reusable one, check it leaves no side gaps. The blue side should be facing out. After using a disposable mask, put it into a garbage bin. If you remove your mask to eat, replace it afterwards.
You don't tweak your mask to fit
If your mask is too big, don't cross the ear loops. Instead, knot each one to shorten it. Put the knots behind your ears to keep the mask from cinching. A hijab can be worn over the mask and secured with a safety pin or paper clip.
You use a coffee filter
A filter on your mask does improve protection. Look for PM 2.5 filters. The tight weave catches tiny raindrops. The pores of a paper coffee filter are 20 micrometres, too large to act as a barrier. If your mask lacks a filter pocket, try one with many layers of fabric or wear two.
You pull it from your face to talk
Talking with a mask on is weird at first. So it is normal to touch or tug at your mask to be heard. The mask should be worn loosely enough to allow you to breathe freely and move your mouth freely.
You wear your mask below your nose
Make your nosepiece if your glasses fog up. Join a few wire twist ties. Make a tiny incision in the upper band of your mask and insert the twist ties.
You wear your mask above your chin
Your mask should cover your chin and the bottom portion of your face. This is because viruses can enter via your chin and reach your mouth, nose, and eyes.
You don't baby your face
Wash your face with a mild cleanser to prevent breakouts and rashes. Then, apply moisturiser for additional protection. Your dermatologist can advise you on the finest components for your skin. It is also recommended to remove your mask every 4 hours for 15 minutes.