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Full Guide to Wearing Face Masks

April 26, 2020 business

The New York Times and Washington Post have now come around to a position I advocated for here on Medium last week: We should all be wearing masks. Not just health care workers, however ALL of us. Whenever we go out in public.


Because they work.

Research from the SARS outbreak in 2003 shows that washing palms 10+ occasions daily was fifty five% efficient in stopping virus transmission; wearing a mask was really more efficient, reducing transmission by about sixty eight%.

Combining a number of types of protection — hand washing, mask wearing, gloves, and one other layer of outerwear (gowning) — was 91% effective.

Read that once more: ninety one% effective at stopping virus transmission.

COVID-19 and SARS are related types of viruses (coronaviruses), and it makes sense that what works to stop transmission for one will work to stop transmission of the other.

Masks work, first, because they are a physical barrier to whatever’s driving alongside on that air you’re breathing or moving through. Here’s a chart showing the relative barrier effectiveness for numerous supplies:

Secondly, they work because they keep you from touching your face all day long. The mask makes you more self-acutely aware of the fact that you’re not supposed to the touch your face- specifically, your mouth, nose, and eyes, and the areas around them- and should you by accident do, you’ll touch the mask, not your skin directly.

Third, the experience of other countries who mask show that masks work in the real world. In the words of Jeremy Howard, researcher and Masks4All activist, explaining a chart in his latest Youtube video showing how some nations have efficiently “flattened the curve” on new infections: “For those who look at all the international locations which have flat curves, they are international locations where masks-wearing is extraordinarily normal, and NOT wearing a mask in places like public transport would be considered anti-social.” He notes that the Czech Republic went from zero masks utilization to 100% in 10 days, and in the process they halted the growth of new covid-19 cases. The Czechs made their own masks- the federal government didn’t give them out.

Should you nonetheless must be persuaded, check out this Chinese examine of an area outbreak case on January 22 during the peak Lunar New Year journey season. A sick individual on the bus who did not work together with anyone spread the virus to 7 others, a few of whom were seated much more than 6 ft away. Two new passengers caught the virus half-hour after the original sick individual had left the bus. NONE OF THE PEOPLE WEARING MASKS WERE INFECTED. Read the article, it’s very detailed, with a schematic of precisely where people have been sitting on the bus.

So let’s say you’re satisfied, and now you’re thinking of some type of face covering. What are your options?

First, please don’t buy masks commercially, if by some miracle you may find them now. Commercially made PPE must be reserved for medical personnel at this time. Sadly, the shortage of commercially made PPE, and the shortage of foresight that caused us to be in such a position of scarcity, is probably why we initially obtained this messaging of “Masks don’t work!” They do, people just didn’t want you to comprehend it for a while, to keep away from a run on masks. Think of the empty cabinets in supermarkets across America the place bathroom paper used to live, and also you understand why.

The easiest thing you are able to do to mask NOW are to use materials around the house. Get artistic; anything that covers the mouth and nose and stays in place will work.

While it’s finest if the mask fits well and there aren’t any gaps between your face and the outside air, don’t hand over on your homemade masks in case you can’t achieve that. Any face covering will keep you from touching the skin around your nose and mouth directly, which could transform an important mechanism by which masks block virus transmission. If you inadvertently touch your face while you’re wearing a masks, you’ll just contact the mask, not your skin.

You possibly can attempt to shape your face covering using pipe cleaners or opened-up rubber-coated paper clips in the part that goes over your nostril to make a tighter match — experiment. Crucial thing is that you just wash your palms, put on your face covering, and go out of the house protected.

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