Health protocols cover the necessity of wearing masks, maintaining distance or physical distancing from others, not making or visiting crowds, washing hands with soap to bring hand sanitizers to ensure your hands are kept clean.
Mask is a simple barrier used to prevent the spread of particles from the human body, and protect against viruses or other germs. As we know, currently, the spread of SARS CoV-2 is from droplets of the human body, which can spread when someone sneezes, coughs, even when talking.
Up until now, many people hope that scientists will quickly find a vaccine for the COVID-19.
This pandemic makes mask a common object and even mandatory. Many places even require their use when in public or closed spaces. Mask that were originally only used by hospital officials have now become common on the streets. However, there are still a number of myths related to masks that make people confused or misunderstood.
But don’t get confused, here are some myths that you should know about masks:
- Covid-19 isn’t real, so there’s no need to cover your face
More than 16.4 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed and nearly 654,000 death tolls recorded worldwide, but some people still believe the virus is not real or a hoax. For example, the United States has more than 4 million confirmed cases and more than 150,000 deaths. But according to a data, about one in three Americans believe that the Coronavirus has not killed as many as it has reported. The conspiracy videos that are widely circulated in cyberspace have been repeatedly denied by the entire medical and scientific community.
- All Must Wear Medical Mask or N95
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear at least a cloth mask and not a medical or N95 mask. Because these masks are prioritized for doctors who are on the front lines of fighting the Corona COVID-19 virus pandemic. The CDC itself advises that these non-medical masks can be found in stores or can be made from home.
- Wearing mask can inhale more carbon-dioxide
When used properly, the mask covers the bridge of the nose and extends under the chin without slits on the sides, completely covering the wearer’s nose and mouth. Some people argue that medical masks can trap carbon dioxide, causing the wearer to inhale more CO2. But WHO says, using surgical masks for a long time will not cause CO2 poisoning or oxygen deprivation.
- Babies Must Use Masks
Babies under the age of two should not wear masks, according to the CDC. People who have respiratory problems or are paralyzed, don’t have to wear mask.
- Using a mask while swimming
Well, of course, don’t need it… it is no use. The main problem with wearing a mask while swimming is getting wet. The only way to avoid a greater contagion is physical distancing with people who have finished swimming a distance of 1.83 meters. Wash your hands often after swimming.
- Masks Don’t need to be washed
Don’t ever think about doing it. Cloth masks also need to be washed, as they can collect a lot of germs during use, as the CDC suggests. The mask can be washed with warm water, don’t forget to add a mixture of bleach and water solution (4 teaspoons of household bleach per 1 liter of room temperature water) and soak your mask for 5 minutes. Then rinse with cold or room temperature water. Let it dry completely. If possible, place the mask in direct sunlight.
- No need to wear a mask if you are not sick
Unfortunately, this is no longer the case when the CDC as a disease control and prevention agency urges everyone who is active outside the home to wear a mask. Both those who are healthy or sick, must use a mask. This is related to the way the corona virus spreads, which is easily spread through droplets from talking, when coughing or sneezing. For those of you who can’t get medical masks, it’s okay because cloth masks are also recommended for you. This is related to its efficiency which can ward off the corona virus by up to 70%. Regardless, you stick to other health protocols.
- Using a face shield – no longer need to use a mask
The fact is that face shields are not very helpful in preventing the spread of the virus. Still, the most effective thing is that you use a mask. If it is coated again with a face shield, then your protection will increase. But it is advisable to keep using a mask first because that is what is recommended.
- No need to keep your distance when wearing a mask
WHO said, the use of face-mask alone was not enough to provide maximum protection. Therefore, apart from wearing masks, one must also maintain a safe distance or physical distancing from one another, wash hands frequently with soap and water, and avoid touching the face.
So, covering your nose and mouth using a mask is the best way to prevent the spread of covid-19. Hence, along with the outbreak of covid-19, social media is also busy with content about the use of masks. In fact, some videos using masks have gone viral, even if they are wrong. For example, a mask can be boiled with boiling water to kill the virus. Or mask can be worn under the chin or on the forehead. That is so wrong, because the forehead and chin can sweat, so that germs can stick to the mask and will even be inhaled while breathing when you put back on.
Then how to use the correct mask? The correct use of masks, not only during use, but before wearing them must be started properly. Follow these tips
a. Clean your palms
Before handling the mask strap, you must make sure the palms of both hands are clean from germs. For that, wash your hands with soap or antiseptic so that germs die. Proper hand washing is not just hands cleaned with soap or antiseptic. Make sure that between your fingers and the backs of your hands are cleaned with it. Then rinse your hands with clean running water, and dry them.
b. Make sure the mask is not deformed
Hold the mask straps on both sides. Check the condition of the mask, is it really clean and there is no damage such as holes. Do not use a mask that is damaged, because the protection provided is also reduced. Also remember to only hold onto the mask strap or the edges. Do not touch the center of the mask to prevent dirt from sticking to the mask.
c. Use masks orderly
When using a mask, you must be consistent to always wear it. Do not open and close the mask too often. Moreover, open the mask and move it to the forehead or around the throat. When the mask is opened, automatically there is no protection against the mouth and respiratory tract. Then the mask can also get dirty because sweat is stuck on the forehead and throat.
d. Be diligent in changing mask
Although it is recommended to always use a mask, it does not mean that you use one mask throughout the day. Mask also have an expiration date. Routinely change masks every 4 hours if you can, so that you’re optimally protected and stay healthy. To change masks, you also have to wash your hands first. Then untie the ties or part of the rope, put the mask in a plastic bag and throw it in the trash.
So, the use of masks has become normal in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. But how long do we have to wear it?
Quoting Shan Soe-Lin, a lecturer from Yale University, who received training on immunology says that at least people will use masks until a vaccine is found. We will wear masks as long as COVID-19 is still a threat, and COVID-19 will continue to be a threat until you get a vaccine.
Saad Omer, Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, shared Seo-Lin’s opinion. In fact, according to him, wearing a mask can take longer than one year. Even when a vaccine is available, these measures will outlast the release of the vaccine. Vaccines will vary by country, according to mode of delivery. You need at least a year to deploy the vaccine and have sufficient coverage.
Remember, there is no cure yet. So, implementing the health protocols is our priority. Don’t forget to always put on your face mask when you go outside the house, fellas!