A quick venture into the outside world will immediately show you people donning face masks. But, just because you own a face mask does not mean you are safe from the coronavirus. Here is how to use a face mask properly and make one yourself at home.
In this article:
- How to Use a Face Mask and Why They Are Important
- How to Wear Face Masks the Proper Way
- Make Your Own DIY Face Mask at Home
- Wearing Face Masks Can Save Lives
How to Use a Face Mask and Why They Are Important
The coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, has infected almost 2 million people the world over. It has claimed the lives of over 120,000 people as of writing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets. Because the virus is so easily passed on, social distancing (6 ft) is highly recommended.
Wearing a face mask is also a good way to protect yourself and others, especially in places where it is harder to keep your distance from people. Face masks help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Because the virus is spread through droplets, face masks act as a barrier between people.
As for when to use face masks, wear them whenever you are heading outside, especially in places with a high number of confirmed cases. You must also wear them when you are taking care of a sick person, particularly if they might have COVID-19.
Additionally, if you feel sick, you must wear face masks so that those around you will not get infected. However, because some coronavirus-positive patients are asymptomatic, they may unknowingly pass the virus to other people. For this reason, it is best to wear face masks when coming into close contact with others.
How to Wear Face Masks the Proper Way
Simply wearing a face mask does not guarantee protection. If you are wearing one incorrectly, you may still be exposed to the virus. Here is how to wear masks properly:
- Make sure the mask fits securely against both sides of your face.
- Fasten the mask using ear loops or ties.
- Must have multiple layers of fabric.
- Make sure you can breathe without trouble when you have the mask on.
- If made of cloth, the mask should be laundered and machine dried without getting damaged or deformed.
If you already have trouble breathing without a face mask, wearing one might make it even harder for you. In addition, people who cannot take off their masks without assistance should not wear them at all.
Although you can protect yourself by wearing a face mask, they are rendered useless if you do not wash your hands frequently. Make sure to exercise proper handwashing techniques and carry rubbing alcohol with you when outside. Furthermore, refrain from touching your face with unwashed hands.
As for the proper disposal procedure, remove the face mask from behind, making sure not to touch the front of the mask. Throw the mask away in a closed garbage bin, then immediately wash your hands with soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
Make Your Own DIY Face Mask at Home
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak reached the United States, face masks have become scarce. The CDC recommends forgoing surgical masks and N95 respirators, reserving them instead for healthcare workers.
On the other hand, the general public can use cloth masks instead. If you cannot get your hands on any cloth masks due to short supply, do not worry. You can use homemade face masks using common items.
1. Bandana Face Mask
To make a bandana face mask, here are the materials you need:
- Bandana (or a cotton cloth measuring 20 by 20 inches)
- Rubber bands (if you do not have any, you can use hair ties)
- Scissors (optional, only if you need to cut your own cloth)
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Fold the bandana or square cotton cloth in half.
- Section the bandana into thirds, folding the top down first and then the bottom up.
- Insert the rubber bands or hair ties, placing them about 6 inches from each other.
- Take both sides of the bandana and fold them into the middle. Tuck one into the other to secure.
2. T-Shirt Face Mask
To make a t-shirt face mask, you only need three materials:
Here are the steps you should follow:
- Cut the bottom part of the shirt, about 7-8 inches from the bottom up.
- Lay down the cut part of the shirt, then cut out a rectangular piece from the side measuring 6-7 inches crosswise. Make sure to leave space above and below the cutout.
- Cut both the top and bottom tie strings.
- To wear, tie the top strings over the top of your head and the bottom strings around your neck.
3. DIY Cloth Face Mask
Finally, if you have the materials, you can sew your own cloth masks. These are the items you need:
- Two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric (quilting fabric, cotton sheets, or t-shirts)
- Two 6-inch pieces of elastic (you can use rubber bands, hair ties, string, or even just cloth strips)
- Sewing machine
Here is how to sew face masks:
- Take a tightly woven cotton fabric and cut out two 10″x6″ rectangles.
- Put the rectangles on top of each other.
- Fold over the top and bottom (long sides) a 1/4-inch, then stitch into place.
- For the short sides, fold either side 1/2-inch and hem them down.
- Using a 6-inch length elastic, run it through either short sides of the mask. Tie the ends securely.
- Tuck the knot inside the hem by pulling on the elastic.
- Draw the sides of the mask on the elastic and hold them in place, making sure the mask fits your face snugly.
- Sew the elastic in place to prevent it from sliding.
Wearing Face Masks Can Save Lives
Although you may not know it, wearing a face mask can protect both yourself and those around you. Overcoming the coronavirus crisis can only be done when people work together. As such, you must do your part in helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19. That means knowing how to use a face mask properly and how to make one yourself. When in doubt, it is always best to follow CDC guidelines.
A lot of HOAs are encountering problems in the fight against COVID-19. If you are one of them, do not hesitate to give us a call so we can assist you.
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