Covid-19: 9 mistakes to avoid when using a mask
FFP2, surgical, artisanal, in response to the spread of Covid-19, the use of protective face masks has been democratized around the world. But do you know how to use a mask?
Covid-19 is transmitted through droplets emitted when coughing or sneezing. To prevent its spread, governments recommended the implementation of barrier gestures such as coughing and sneezing into the elbow, blowing the nose with tissues or washing hands regularly. To protect against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the use of a mask has also become mandatory indoors. Here are some mistakes to avoid for effective protection when wearing a mask:
1. Do not wash your hands before putting on the mask
The first big mistake is forgetting to wash your hands before putting on your mask. Due to the postilions that are emitted by coughing or sneezing, our environment quickly becomes infected with bacteria or viruses. To avoid spreading them on your face mask, wash your hands well with soap and water or a hydroalcoholic gel. Remember to clean your nails, thumbs, the backs of your hands, and your wrists.
2. Putting on your mask incorrectly
A protective mask is only useful if it is positioned correctly on the users face. Therefore, you must adapt to your face by covering your mouth and nose, otherwise it will not protect you.
3. Touch your face when wearing a mask
Scratching your nose, brushing your mouth, drying your eyes. We touch our faces several times a day. However, when wearing a mask, you should avoid putting your fingers in your face as much as possible. The hands carry bacteria that can contaminate the mask. In turn, the mask also contains germs that can infect the hands.
4. Not changing your protective mask regularly
Keeping the mask on for too long is also a mistake. As soon as you start to get wet from sweating or breathing, it should be replaced with a new one. As these masks are for single use only, they should not be reused later.
5. Take off the protective mask without respecting the rules
To remove the mask, remove it from behind by untying the knot or removing the strings. Above all, do not touch the front part of the mask that is infected with the postilions projected by your breath. Then, put it in a closed trash can and wash your hands again before putting in a new one.
6. Forgetting to wash reusable masks regularly
Less effective than surgical or FFP2 masks, homemade masks are useful when the user is ill, as they decrease the likelihood of transmitting postillions to people or surfaces around them. However, no proof of its effectiveness has yet been provided. After each use, remember to clean them in the washing machine.
7. Place your mask under your chin
In order to be able to breathe freely for a few minutes, eat, smoke or speak more easily, some people temporarily lower the mask under their chin. However, this is also a bad idea because the neck may contain virus-infected droplets or sputum. By keeping the mask in the "hold position" in this area, there is a risk of contaminating the inner part of the shield, which will then be placed back on your face. Result: the mask no longer protects us and no longer protects others. It is also not recommended to hang it around the arm because this part of the body can also be contaminated. To be effective, a mask must remain in place, and be handled as little as possible. Once it has been touched with the hands, it must be discarded, or sterilized. "
8. Put your mask in your bag or pocket
Storing your mask in your purse or pocket is a big mistake. This gesture should be prohibited because it would run the risk of contaminating clothes, bags and their contents, but also our hands. This manipulation thus increases the risk of contamination. After removing a surgical mask, it must be disposed of directly in the trash. When it comes to a cloth mask, it is advisable to store it in a clean paper bag as it absorbs moisture and prevents contaminating the inside of the mask.
9. Wear a damp or wet mask
When the mask is wet, from perspiration or breathing, or wet from rain, it is less effective. Afnor strongly recommends exchanging it for a new, dry one. "If your barrier mask, made of fabric, is wet, it is also advisable to change it for another dry mask, store it in a bag and wash it and then dry it before using it again," they recommend.