Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives have changed drastically. We now live to the rhythm of lockdowns and curfews, respecting physical distances and wearing a mask in many places. The epidemiologist Rashid Chotani reminds us, “Wearing a mask slows down the circulation of the virus, which reduces the number of hospitalizations and the death rate”. More according to a new American study conducted by the mask company signs.com, we would still make many mistakes in our use of this protection.
Among the 1,000 people interviewed, 35% admitted not to wash their hands before putting on a mask and 43.7% admitted to taking it off without cleaning them first. However, Rashid Chotani recalls that these hygienic gestures are necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
Wash and store your masks properly
A second common mistake is sharing your mask with loved ones. Gan Eng Cern, ENT surgeon, explains that “fabric masks absorb droplets and sweat. If they are worn by someone other than you, you are spreading your fluids with others. ” In addition, apart from Covid-19, each person carries pathogens that can be transferred by masks, assures Rivka Abulafia-Lapid, lecturer in virology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. On the other hand, once your mask is washed, there is no danger that another person will wear it.
Regarding fabric masks, it is essential to wash them after each use. Yet the recent study finds that many people do not do this as regularly as they should, which decreases the effectiveness of the protection.
Immunologist Chris Xu emphasizes the importance of storing your masks properly. “Where you store your mask is important”, he warns. He advises you to store your clean masks in a safe place, away from other people in your household. As for used and reusable masks, it is recommended to store them in a plastic bag until you wash them, to avoid the risk of transmission of the virus.
Finally, specialists are fighting to ensure that everyone wears their mask correctly. Mark Fischer, an infectious disease specialist, says wearing your mask under your nose should be avoided at all costs. According to him, “It negates all the benefits of wearing a mask. It must be properly attached and cover your mouth and nose at all times to effectively protect yourself and those around you from the virus. ”
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