New Coronavirus: When and How to Use Masks

Human civilisation has always faced a lot of social, economic and financial issues, if you look at the history. Nature has made us face serious challenges and then humans have come out as warriors out of them. Science has been one of the rescuers for us all this while.

However, the latest challenge has surfaced in the form of the new Coronavirus erupted from the Chinese province Wuhan. Yes! This is a virus which shows its symptoms as coughing,, sneezing, difficult breathing pattern and fever. But it has become more of a Pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The infection broke out rapidly affecting 95 countries around the globe. The main mode of transmission of the virus has been identified to be the breathing air. Yes! A patient of the virus may transfer the germs through his breath, sneeze and cough which are otherwise uncontrollable. The death toll is increasing with each passing day. The virus has been observed to adversely affect the old people aged more than 50 and the kids. The reason being, the immunity is weak in these age groups, which makes them catch the infection readily. Although some of the cases have recovered in China but the lock down is still prevailing in most parts of the world.

Medical Masks have been prescribed by the experts to be used by the masses. They have been identified to control the further outbreak of the virus. However, in order to make the effective use of the masks, you need to know when you should use the mask, how to put it on, what to do while you are wearing it and most importantly how to discard it after use. In addition, you need to bear in mind that masks alone can not rescue here, you need to be extra careful when it comes to hand hygiene and personal hygiene.

All these questions need to be answered by an authentic authority which in this case, has been done by the WHO itself. The current article explains all these important aspects of using the medical masks in detail. Keep reading and you will be enlightened about all the important precautions related to use of the medical masks. 

When to Use a Surgical Mask?

Medical Masks have been known to protect the spread of the Coronavirus. People are being advised to use the masks in order to control the further transmission of the Virus. However, there are specific situations in which you should wear the mask. Yes! It is not that every person has to wear the mask and in all cases. Moreover, the use of mask alone cannot do any wonders for you, you need to take care of your personal hygiene and for the people around you living in the same house with you, especially the kids. Make sure that you wash your hands regularly with an alcohol-based hand wash or with soap and water.  Here are some of the situations where you are advised to wear the medical mask to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus.

  1. If you are not showing any symptoms of Coronavirus like sneezing, coughing or fever, you do not need to wear the mask. This is to clear the misconception that if everyone would wear the mask, they would stay safe from the virus. It is not like that, mask can not protect you from catching the virus, if you are healthy.
  2. However, if you are healthy but you are taking care of a suspected patient of Coronavirus, you have to wear the mask in this case, only when you have to be in his room for his care. Yes! Since you might need to go near the patient to serve him the medicine and food, you might catch the virus from him. Therefore, you have to cover your mouth with the medical mask.
  3. When you use the mask, you also have to be mindful how you dispose it off. Yes! This is important because if your used mask is not removed and disposed of in the proper manner, the virus may again transmit through it. Therefore, you need to know how you should get rid of your used medical mask. Ideally, when you do so, you should again wash your hands with the good quality soap and water or an alcohol-based hand wash liquid.

How to Put on, Use, Take Off and Dispose of a Face Mask:

In addition to the above information about the situations when you need to wear the mask, it is important for you to know how to wear the mask, take it off and dispose it off. Yes! The way you carry your mask is pivotal as it may do more harm than good if not done correctly. So, here is how you should do that.

  1. A medical mask typically has pleats and is flat in appearance. These pleats help you cover your mouth and nose completely when you wear it properly.
  2. The very first step for you to do is to hold the mask from the upper edge where you will find a metal strip, put it exactly on you’re the bridge of your nose.
  3. Now, pull the elastics from both sides of the mask and put behind your ears. In some cases, you might need to tie the strings on the back of your head to tighten it properly.
  4. Then you have to open the pleats of the mask to make sure that the mask covers your nose, and chin completely. This is suggested to make full use of the medical mask. When your mouth will be fully covered with the mask, there will be minimum chances for you to catch he infection when you are with an infected person.
  5. Make sure that while you are wearing the 3 layer face mask, you do not touch the front part of the mask. Since, there might be germs on it while you are taking care of the patient or if you are also sneezing, they might stay on the front of the mask. With touching, you increase the chances of the transmission if the virus. So, extra amount of care is required here on your part.
  6. If your mask has become humid or damp for some reason, you should at once remove it and wear a dry mask.
  7. When you need to take off your mask, you have to loosen the elastic strings from behind your ear or untie them from your head and discard it in a safe covered dust bin. This is important to throw away the used mask into a covered bin otherwise, the germs which may have stuck on the mask, may cause severe infection to others.
  8. Once you are done, do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly with the alcohol-based hand wash or with soap and water.
  9. Moreover, bear in mind that these masks are meant for single-use. Yes! This means that you can not use the same mask again. Always discard it in the prescribed manner after each use.

Well! It is clear from the facts and figures of the Coronavirus outbreak that this is the one-of-its-kind situation where a single virus has affected the countries from all continents of the world. The virus has invaded a greater population, hence making the situation even more grave. The medical scientists have put their foot sown to find the treatment and vaccine to fight the virus, however, they have achieved success only to a limited extent. The main reason is that the actual source of the virus could not be identified as yet. Having said that, there are some cases who have recovered which gives us a rare ray of hope.

The key, so far, has been identified to be precautionary measures like keeping cleanliness in the surroundings and taking care of the hand hygiene. The experts are of the opinion that the further transmission of the virus can be controlled if people wash hands regularly with soap and water. Those who are healthy do not need to wear the medical masks but if you are living with a suspected patient of Coronavirus under one roof, then you should wear the mask, especially when you are serving him as a care taker. But again there are some precautions and the prescribed method of using the mask. If you do not adhere to the instructions, you might be a cause of spreading the virus. Therefore, the need of the hour is to be careful, maintain personal hygiene, keep cleanliness in your surroundings. If you suspect, you are showing symptoms of the virus, immediately visit the doctor. For those who have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, should stay at home or the hospital according to the doctor’s suggestion. Avoid the crowded gatherings as the virus mainly propagates through air and breathing. So, as they say “Prevention is better than cure”. Stay safe and healthy.