Coronavirus Prevention: 6 Essential Qualities That Are Important For An Effective Face Mask

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  • Date:2020/09/11

Face mask are an important preventive measure against COVID-19. N-95 masks are mostly required by frontline healthcare workers providing treatment to patients who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. A surgical face mask is required whenever you are stepping out of the house for grocery shopping etc. Surgical face masks are single-use masks that need to be duly discarded every day. Face masks can also be made at home. The Ministry of Health And Family Welfare has uploaded a video on YouTube which features a guide for making face masks at home. If you are not suffering from medical conditions or do not have breathing difficulties, you may use homemade reusable face cover, particularly when you step out of your house to help protect the community at large.

6 essential qualities for an effective face mask

Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, in an IGTV uploaded by WebMD, talks about essential qualities of an effective face mask. "If you have to suddenly step out and don't have a face mask at home, then making one yourself is an absolutely fine thing to do," she says in the video. Here are some essential qualities that you need to take care of when making face mask at home:

1. Fabric of the face mask

According to Dr Cassoobhoy, it needs to be high thread count cotton fabric. Having a cotton fabric is important as it makes the mask breathable, she says. The high thread count is going to act as a filter for particles. This mask will not offer as effective protection as an N-95 mask, but it is strong and effective tool, especially in combination with other social distancing measures like keeping at six feet distance and regular handwashing.

2. Add an extra filter

You can also add one extra filter to your face mask using a coffee filter, paper towel, reusable non-shiny grocery bags, etc. Make sure that the filter you use is breathable.

3. Make sure that the masks fit you properly

The masks should fit you properly. The masks should have a snug fit from your nose across your cheeks, back to your ears and under your chin. This kind of fit will keep you protected from the outside air as much as it is reasonable.

The face masks should cover your nose, cheeks and chin
Photo Credit: iStock

4. Do not touch the mask when outside

Whenever you step out, make sure you don't touch the mask. The outside surface of the mask, once you step out, is most likely to be contaminated. You need to be able to breathe comfortably with the mask on. Slipping it down under your nose is useless, says Dr Cassoobhoy.

5. Ease of use

Masks with an elastic band are easier to use. However, for some people, these masks can be too tight or cause irritation in ears. It has to be according to what suits you the best. The basic coronavirus prevention step is that you should not be out for too long.

6. Endurability

The face masks are probably going to go through a lot of wear and tear. So after you use them, they should be properly washed and stored. You have to make sure that you don't touch the contaminated area. After washing the mask, see if the fabric is torn or the shape of the face mask is changed. Also, the fabric should be pre-washed before you make the mask.

Wearing a mask every time you step out might seem a little odd. But it is a important if your care about your health and the health of others around you.

All in all, try to stay indoors and stay safe as much as possible.

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