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 here on Medium final week: We should all be wearing masks. Not just health care workers, but ALL of us. Every time we exit in public.
Why?
Because they work.
Research from the SARS outbreak in 2003 shows that washing fingers 10+ times each day was 55% efficient in stopping virus transmission; wearing a mask was really more effective, reducing transmission by about 68%.
Combining a number of types of protection — hand washing, mask wearing, gloves, and one other layer of outerwear (gowning) — was 91% effective.
Read that again: 91% effective at stopping virus transmission.
COVID-19 and SARS are similar types of viruses (coronaviruses), and it is sensible 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 driving alongside on that air you’re breathing or moving through. Here’s a chart showing the relative barrier effectiveness for varied supplies:

Secondly, they work because they keep you from touching your face all day long. The masks makes you more self-aware of the truth that you’re not supposed to touch your face- specifically, your mouth, nostril, and eyes, and the areas round them- and if you happen to unintentionally do, you’ll contact the masks, not your skin directly.
Third, the expertise of different nations 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 latest Youtube video showing how some nations have successfully "flattened the curve" on new infections: "If you happen to look at all of the nations which have flat curves, they are nations the place mask-wearing is extremely normal, and NOT wearing a mask in places like public transport would be considered anti-social." He notes that the Czech Republic went from zero mask 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 federal government didn’t give them out.


In case you nonetheless have to be persuaded, check out this Chinese examine of a local outbreak case on January 22 during the peak Lunar New Year travel season. A sick particular person on the bus who did not work together with anybody 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 half-hour after the original sick particular 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 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 would discover them now. Commercially made PPE must 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 received this messaging of "Masks don’t work!" They do, people just didn’t need you to understand it for a while, to avoid a run on masks. Think of the empty cabinets in supermarkets throughout America the place rest room paper used to live, and also you perceive why.
The best thing you are able to do to mask NOW are to make use of supplies across the house. Get inventive; anything that covers the mouth and nostril and stays in place will work.

While it’s greatest if the mask fits well and there are not any gaps between your face and the outside air, don’t hand over in your homemade mask when you can’t achieve that. Any face covering will maintain you from touching the skin round your nose and mouth directly, which might become an important mechanism by which masks block virus transmission. In case you inadvertently touch your face while you’re wearing a masks, you’ll just touch the mask, not your skin.
You may attempt to form your face covering using pipe cleaners or opened-up rubber-coated paper clips within the part that goes over your nostril to make a tighter match — experiment. The most important thing is that you just wash your arms, put in your face covering, and exit of the house protected.

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