Complete Guide to Wearing Face Masks

June 5, 2020 23:27

The New York Instances and Washington Post have now come round to a place I advocated for right here on Medium final week: We should always all be wearing masks. Not just health care workers, however ALL of us. Every time we go out in public.

Why?

Because they work.

Research from the SARS outbreak in 2003 shows that washing hands 10+ instances every day was fifty five% efficient in stopping virus transmission; wearing a masks was truly more effective, reducing transmission by about 68%.

Combining multiple types of protection — hand washing, masks wearing, gloves, and another layer of outerwear (gowning) — was 91% effective.

Read that again: ninety one% effective at stopping virus transmission.

COVID-19 and SARS are similar types of viruses (coronaviruses), and it is smart that what works to cease transmission for one will work to cease transmission of the other.

Masks work, first, because they’re a physical barrier to whatever’s driving along on that air you’re breathing or moving through. Here’s a chart showing the relative barrier effectiveness for varied materials:

Secondly, they work because they hold you from touching your face all day long. The mask makes you more self-acutely aware of the fact that you’re not supposed to touch your face- specifically, your mouth, nostril, and eyes, and the areas round them- and when you by chance do, you’ll touch the masks, not your skin directly.

Third, the experience of other countries who masks show that masks work within the real world. In the words of Jeremy Howard, researcher and Masks4All activist, explaining a chart in his recent Youtube video showing how some international locations have efficiently “flattened the curve” on new infections: “When you look at all of the countries which have flat curves, they are nations the place mask-wearing is extremely normal, and NOT wearing a mask in places like public transport can be considered anti-social.” He notes that the Czech Republic went from zero mask utilization to a hundred% in 10 days, and in the process they halted the growth of new covid-19 cases. The Czechs made their own masks- the federal government didn’t give them out.

Should you nonetheless must be persuaded, check out this Chinese study of an area outbreak case on January 22 during the peak Lunar New Year travel season. A sick person on the bus who did not work together with anybody spread the virus to 7 others, some of whom were seated a lot more than 6 ft away. Two new passengers caught the virus 30 minutes after the unique sick individual 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 satisfied, and now you’re thinking of some kind of face covering. What are your options?

First, please don’t purchase masks commercially, if by some miracle you may discover them now. Commercially made PPE needs to be reserved for medical personnel at this time. Unfortunately, the scarcity of commercially made PPE, and the shortage of foresight that caused us to be in such a place of shortage, is probably why we initially acquired this messaging of “Masks don’t work!” They do, people just didn’t need you to understand it for a while, to keep away from a run on masks. Think of the empty cabinets in supermarkets throughout America the place rest room paper used to live, and you understand why.

The simplest thing you can do to masks NOW are to use materials across the house. Get creative; anything that covers the mouth and nostril and stays in place will work.

While it’s finest if the masks matches well and there aren’t any gaps between your face and the outside air, don’t hand over in your homemade masks if you can’t achieve that. Any face covering will maintain you from touching the skin around your nostril and mouth directly, which might change into a very powerful mechanism by which masks block virus transmission. For those who inadvertently contact your face while you’re wearing a masks, you’ll just touch the masks, not your skin.

You possibly can try to shape your face covering utilizing pipe cleaners or opened-up rubber-coated paper clips within the part that goes over your nostril to make a tighter match — experiment. An important thing is that you simply wash your arms, put in your face covering, and exit of the house protected.

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June 5, 2020 23:27
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