With the current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world, everyone has been looking for ways to stay safe and reduce the spread of infection.
At the start of a pandemic, the world often realizes that vaccines or medication may not be readily available; turning to non-pharmaceutical practices may be the only options we have as of now. Handsanitizer, sterilizers, and cleaning supplies have been flying off the grocery store walls—and so have face masks.
For those who may not know, germs and bacteria can easily be spread through large droplets of bodily fluids that escape from the mouth and nose. This is why we sneeze and cough into our elbows and NOT our hands. Face masks are the most effective way, thus far, to protect others and ourselves from having those fluids entering our airways.
A 2012 study that focused on the effectiveness of face masks and hand hygiene concluded that those who wore masks in their residence halls and practiced proper handwashing reduced their risk of seasonal influenza by 75 percent.
If wearing masks and washing our hands (especially in crowded areas) have a similar impact on other seasonal or pandemic strains, then we may be able to successfully decrease the spread of coronavirus.
Filter Face Masks also help to filter out some of the daily pollutions in our air. There are other airborne particles that can make us sick. Toxic fumes, dust diseases, and nitrogen dioxide (emitted by petrol or diesel cars can also make us sick or even damage your respiratory system.
Even if a sick person near us is not coughing, the air surrounding is filled with small infectious particles that come out of their airways and circulate into our space. Filter masks are a good first step to protecting ourselves.
Of course, wearing masks alone is not the only way to stay protected. You can adopt some of these guidelines to increase your protection of illness wherever you go:
- Practice good hand washing. To our surprise, a lot of people don’t know how to properly wash their hands. Here is a hand-washing tutorial by the World Health Organization.
- Wear a face mask when you will be coming in frequent contact with a sick person.
- Always position your mask firmly on your face, over your nose, mouth, and chin. Make sure you don’t touch the mask again until you remove it.
- Wear a face mask if you are experiencing early flu-like symptoms or become ill.
- Wear a mask in crowded settings if an illness is spreading in your community.
- Once you are done wearing the mask, throw it away, and wash your hands.
- Never reuse a face mask.
Prevention is always the best method of keeping yourself safe from illness. Wearing facemasks is a way to add further protection. Why not utilize it? Though masks are a risk-free preventative measure, it’s important to stay hygienic and be cautious about your cleanliness. Shop for your filter masks today! Stay safe and healthy.