With more and more Americans wearing masks these days it is very important to know how to properly use it in order for it to be effective. Believe it or not a lot of people aren't even aware of how to properly wear a mask, and sometimes that can be more of a hindrance than help preventing the spread of viruses.
Experts are warning that some are getting a false hope that wearing a mask will "block all germs" and make everything okay, but that is not the case. According to eatthis.com here are 10 common mistakes when wearing a mask:
- Cross contamination - once you wear a mask, it becomes contaminated by germs and when you put the mask down on a surface, it just contaminated that surface.
- You can contaminate your mask by touching it with dirty hands or coughing into it and that can cause infection for you.
- Wearing the same mask all day can create even more bacteria. Masks should be disinfected at least every couple of hours, otherwise you're just basically breathing in the same viral particles.
- Your mask should cover your nose and mouth. If not, you can still be infected if someone near you sneezes or coughs.
- Put the mask on before you enter a risky area, not once you get there.
- Social distancing over everything! Don't trust everybody you see, and assume they don't have a virus. They may be asymptomatic so please keep your distance of six feet or more, even when wearing a mask.
- Make sure the mask is cleaned properly, disinfected and then placed in a bag. Don't soil it with chemicals or disinfectants like Lysol where it becomes wet.
- Make sure you do not wet the mask with your tongue because that makes it porous; you'll want your mask to stay dry.
- Wear the mask properly - know which side should touch your face and what side should not. With surgical masks, the white side, not the blue side should touch your face.
- All masks are NOT the same! A surgical mask helps protect against droplets and protects those around you and an N95 mask filters out 95% of bacteria if it correctly fits your face.
Hopefully this helps. And please remember a mask is not 100% effective in preventing you from becoming ill, but it will help in the spread of germs.