The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed many of the aspects of our everyday lives. One of these changes is the recommendation by health professionals to wear cloth face masks or facial coverings when out in public places, especially indoor spaces.
This is a new phenomenon for most people here in Aspen, CO and the rest of the United States. There are some people who ask, “Can cloth masks make you sick?” There are others who simply want to know if disposable masks are better than cloth masks for the purposes of convenience and everyday protection.
Here’s an overview of what you should know about wearing cloth masks and how they can protect you from illness.
They’re simple and mostly effective
The basic principle behind using cloth face masks is that they allow the wearer to do their part in preventing virus spread. Cloth face masks prevent the spray of virus-laden droplets from exiting your mouth and sinuses, keeping other people safe. They provide a reminder not to touch your face, which is one of the most common ways people fall sick with the virus. And they also do provide some degree of protection from virus-laden droplets from entering your mouth and nose, though their primary benefit is preventing you from spreading those droplets to others.
Some studies have shown that even simple masks can significantly reduce your risk of contracting respiratory illness. However, it is important to note that wearing a mask in and of itself is not going to prevent you from getting sick. Certain other behaviors, such as touching your face, or having extended close contact with many other people, are going to significantly increase your risk factor regardless of whether or not you’re wearing a mask. You should continue to wash your hands regularly, avoid large crowds and avoid touching your face.
There is also the question of whether wearing the same cloth mask over and over again will actually make you more susceptible to bacteria and illness. While this is possible, most cloth masks are easily washable in a laundry machine. If you only have a couple cloth masks to rotate between for daily usage, you should make sure you wash them regularly, just as you would any other clothing items you wear on a regular basis.
You never know who you’re going to encounter or whether any other people around you have contracted the virus, and realistically you’re also going to be touching your face mask numerous times while you wear it, so washing it after each use will be helpful. Remove it by the ear straps rather than by touching the front of the mask—otherwise, you’ll be transmitting everything the mask filtered out all day onto your hands.
Ultimately, while wearing a mask will help you avoid illness, the most effective thing you can do is maintain social distancing and regularly wash your hands.
For more information about the use and benefits of cloth masks to prevent you from getting sick, contact the team at HealthSafe Inspections Inc. in Aspen, CO today.
Categorised in: Indoor Air Quality
This post was written by Writer