Will Homemade Face Masks Keep You From Getting Coronavirus? Here’s What We Know
The threat of the corona virus pandemic has experienced a significant rise in the last month. In fact, a month ago, wearing a face mask was not advised for the public, but now the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has made it mandatory for people to cover their faces when leaving the house.
The CDC urges the people to rely on homemade cloth masks so that the medical-grade and surgical masks can be reserved for the front line healthcare workers with the most exposure to the virus. However, while the researches fail to show compelling evidence regarding the protection offered by cloth masks against the coronavirus, the use of face masks is still the primary form of protection.
What is the purpose of using homemade face masks?
As there are no researches that prove that homemade face masks offer protection, the purpose of wearing a face mask can be questioned. Most experts suggest that covering the face ( mouth and nose) still offers more safety relative to having no protective covering. Wearing a face mask can prevent the escape of respiratory droplets, from your mouth and nose, into the environment. This can create a safer atmosphere in the public spaces.
Additionally, several reports studying the corona virus suggest that the droplets from a sneeze or cough of an infected person can stay in the air for as long as three hours. Hence, covering the face prevent the virus from leaking into the air.
The key objective of wearing a face mask is not to protect yourself, rather it is to flatten the curve by protecting the environment from you.
What is the proper way of wearing a face mask?
Wearing a face mask is only effective if you wear it in a concealed manner. Your mask is required to cover the bottom half of your face, particularly the mouth and nose. The mask should cover the nasal septum and should be tucked underneath the chin. Additionally, it is further important to make sure that you do not remove or adjust the face mask when you are in a public space.
Is a homemade face mask recommended for re-use?
Whether you buy face mask online or make one at home, you can only re-use the mask if it is cloth-based. Cloth-based face masks can be re-used after a wash. You can wash your face mask with alcohol-based soap and lukewarm water. However, if you are wearing surgical or respiratory masks, it is recommended to discard them after each use.
What else can be done?
A homemade face mask does not guarantee protection against the virus. As a result, it is essential for you to take the necessary steps for protection. Other methods of safety include:
- Thoroughly wash your hands every twenty minutes.
- Use hand sanitizer before and after touching any surface in a public space (i.e shopping cart, grocery counters, etc.)
- Wear gloves when leaving the house.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Stay at home, if you can.