We all know that entering an establishment without a shirt or shoes is a big no-no, but across the country, most businesses now must require a facial covering in order to enter. Although it has fired up both sides of the political spectrum and has created quite the controversy, the truth is, masks prevent others (and, in turn, US, from getting sick).
Ever wonder why surgeons wear masks during surgery? Although, yes, it protects the staff from something that might come back in their own faces, it’s not really about them. They don’t want to get their patients sick while they are in an already incredibly vulnerable environment. Germs are so easy to spread from the nose and mouth and with a virus like COVID-19, which can cause little to no symptoms for some, but a severe to life-threatening situation for others, it is important to consider the repercussions of being the person without the mask.
The next time you’re in public, look to the person next to you. Assume they are infected with a virus that has the potential of seriously affecting you or your loved one’s lungs, kidneys, brain or heart and it is spread through an action as simple as talking. Would you be upset if that person succeeded in infecting someone you love because he or she was not taking proper precautions by wearing a face covering? The solution? Wear a mask and encourage others to do the same. It isn’t infringing on your freedom or your rights when you make a choice to do so, but the longer we remain in this pandemic, the longer our freedom to do as we please could be seriously stripped away to save lives.
Just as important as whether you wear a mask is HOW you wear that mask. All too often people are seen in public with a mask around their neck or one that is pulled down below their nose. Please consider a few of the following guidelines to ensure that your face covering is serving its intended purpose.
Make sure your mask covers the most vulnerable areas of your face – the nose and mouth.
Your face covering should fit snug, with no gaps between your face and the mask.
If your mask has bendable metal strip, be sure to shape this around your nose for a personalized fit.
Consider the benefits of a multi-layer mask, which repels, filters and absorbs moisture from exhaled air.
If your mask fits properly, there will be no need for frequent adjustments.
Keep your cloth mask clean by washing regularly on the hot water setting of the washing machine.
Use the ties or ear loops to put the mask on to avoid touching an area that will cover your mouth and nose.
If possible wash your hands or sanitize before putting your mask on.
If a medical condition prevents you from wearing a mask, consider the benefits of wearing a face shield.