Face masks have become the topic of debate and fashion statement of the year 2020. As a result, you might have been bombarded with information, and opinions regarding the effectiveness of these face coverings that are meant to slow the spread of the COVID-19.
Like most people, you’re concerned about when should you wear a face mask, the type to be worn, their effectiveness and so on.
I will take you through some of the facts about this hot topic while we separate fact from fiction, thus help clear up any confusion.
First, we will consider the present face mask recommendations in Australia that you should be aware of.
General Public Advice in Australia
COVID-19 cases were first reported in Australia on January 22, 2020. Today, the country has recorded more than 21,700 COVID-19 cases, 331 deaths and approximately 12, 400 recoveries. Victoria is the current epicentre, and for that reason, the government has issued new recommendations to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The following are some of the appropriate precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.
Wearing of Masks: Whether physical distancing is possible or not, citizens are instructed to wear fabric face masks. The government has recommended this type of face mask because the surgical masks and respirators are reserved for healthcare personnel, and the country and the world is experiencing a shortage of these kinds of masks.
Practice Good Hygiene: The population is urged to clean their hands regularly using soap and water, and if not possible, they should use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Physical Distancing: People are instructed to maintain 2 meters distance in a public setting.
Social Isolation: The measure encourages people to step out of their homes when extremely necessary, such as going to buy necessities or visiting the clinic. Employers are urged to allow employees to work from home and limit public gatherings.
Avoid Touching Your Face: Individuals are warned against touching their eyes, mouth and nose with their hands which could increase the risks of contamination.
Cover Yourself when Coughing or Sneezing: People should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue and or elbow when coughing or sneezing.
Seek Medical Attention: Citizens should visit a clinic when they experience difficulty breathing, coughing or when they have a fever.
Facts about Face Masks
The spread of coronavirus can be controlled when people over two years adhere to the above measures. Thus, wearing a fabric face-covering in a public setting coupled with social distancing when in crowed areas like aeroplanes, buses and grocery stores can help slow the spread of COVID-19. The following are some facts about wearing face masks.
- Face Masks are Effective
So far, there is no preventive measure that can be termed 100% correct or one that can stop the spread of corona. However wearing of medical or non-medical face mask combined with good habits like social distancing, frequent hand washing and while staying home as much as possible have proven to be effective in slowing the community-based transmission of coronavirus.
- Wearing of Mask is Not Harmful
There is considerable debate about whether face masks are safe. People are concerned that these face coverings are reducing the oxygen levels they’re inhaling. They are also worried that they are inhaling a lot of CO2, thus exposing themselves to an array of problems like suffocation, headaches, lightheadedness and so on. However, this is not true unless you’re wearing the mask too tight and for an extended period. Therefore ensure that the mask is well-fitting, covering your nose and mouth properly and is comfortable.
- For Maximum Protection Wear Surgical and Respirator Masks
Surgical masks and respirator have a valve that filters air and are disposable. They also offer maximum protection; however, they have limited production and massive demand by healthcare workers. Therefore, these masks, although valid, are reserved for frontline workers handling COVID-19 patients. Its recommended that the public should use the fabric masks. Although there are limited studies about the efficacy of these masks, they’re better than not wearing any.
- Homemade Masks are Less Effective
Almost all face-covering can block respiratory droplets from your mouth and nose or those around you. Therefore, you should buy several ready-made fabric masks for your daily use. Opt for tightly woven fabric face masks. The tighter, the better, thus pick better-quality cotton since it has a higher thread count. Your mask can have a combination of fabrics with the outer layer being waterproof such as polyester while the inner being absorbent to contain the respiratory droplets.
- Face Mask should have 3 Layers
The right mask should have a minimum of three layers. Some retailers are selling up to four layers which are more effective compared to a fabric mask with a single layer. However, it’s advisable not to go overboard since a higher number affects breathability.
Therefore, a mask with an inner and outer layer and a filter inserted between these layers is effective.
- Wash Hands Before and After you handle the Mask
You should always ensure that your hands are clean before putting on your mask. Further, you should avoid touching the surface of the mask when wearing it. Medical advice is that you should remove the masks by holding the straps instead of the front. Touching your mask can contribute to surface or cross-contamination.
- Wearing your Masks Properly Prevent Foggy Glass
Masks are worn to prevent transmission of coronavirus unknowingly; however, a large chunk of eyeglass wearers are suffering as a result of mask-induced foggy lenses.
You still have to wear your glasses and face mask irrespective of the challenges you are experiencing. The following are ways of solving the foggy-lens problem.
- Wash your glasses or sunglasses with soapy water and air dry them. This will leave a film that reduces fog formation.
- Wearing snugly fitting masks prevents the escape of exhaled air towards your glasses. Thus, the air will now escape from the sides or the bottom of the mask.
- You can adjust the glasses to allow the frame to sit slightly away from your face. Thus the exhaled air will escape and not get trapped between the lenses of your glasses and your face.
- You can invest in anti-fog lenses since face masks will be here for an extended time.
The wearing of fabric face mask combined with other measures is effective in slowing the spread of coronavirus in Australia.
Face masks can protect you and others around you from respiratory droplets coming from your mouth and nose. Therefore, carry at least two masks when going out to help you change a moist one immediately.
Aussie Defender offers you a wide selection of fabric face masks that can help you fight the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Shop for your mask now.