Walk around any public and even private places today and you will nearly everyone sporting a mask of some sort. Some may be medical, reusable, a bandana, or even a hoodie tied backward. As countries desperately try to move towards reopening in some ways, state orders for the use of masks by civilians have skyrocketed.
Just 3 days ago, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee released the news that facial coverings will be mandatory statewide beginning on June 26th. Washington has been deemed as a U.S. state taking a scientific approach to the COVID-19 outbreak. With the first few cases (and deaths) occurring in upper Washington State, residents were hit hard by the virus and took a quick approach to cancel schools, close businesses, and put a stay-at-home order into effect. But it was not enough, so following the steps of other U.S. states, like California, Governor Inslee has mandated facial coverings in public both indoors and outdoors.
Many individuals have already been wearing facial masks for months, but those, like Washingtonians, are beginning now. For this reason, we have curated a list of tips to care for your mask and yourself, because what good is a mask if it has no effect on your risk of infection or increases it without proper use.
Choosing your mask:
Make sure your mask has two layers and is not see through
You don’t need a mask with a respirator valve, it doesn’t do much
Find one that fits you well, is comfortable, and breathable (this is a case where beauty is NOT over pain)
Fitting your mask:
If you have an adjustable mask, pull the strings on the ear loops until there are no gaps and lays flat across your cheeks
Your mask should cover from the bridge of your nose to the bottom of you chin
The fit and comfortability of your mask are most important, as messing with your mask could cause germs from your hands to spread directly to your eyes, nose, and mouth
Caring for your mask:
If you are using a reusable mask, have several available and rotate through cleaning them thoroughly with soap and water (no washing machines!)
If you are using one medical mask, lay it out flat for 24 hours before wearing again, these are meant for single use but germs and bacteria will be killed off if it goes untouched for a day or so
Have a variety of masks on hand so that you don’t overwear and stretch out the ties/loops. If you mask becomes too loose, time for a new one!
Following these tips will help you to find your right mask and keep it usable. It is important to only touch your mask with clean, washed hands. Otherwise, you risk increasing the chance of infection of disease by spreading germs directly to your face. But, stopping yourself from adjusting an unnatural facial covering is hard. Before the use of masks, we already struggle with remembering not to touch our faces or often overlook the gestures we make that result in touching our eyes, mouth, and nose with unclean hands. Now, with masks, the chances of touching your face are likely higher.
If you are having trouble stopping yourself from adjusting your mask or touching your face without realizing, our Immutouch band may be a great solution for you. We already carry loads of germs and bacteria on our hands that cause us to get sick, but with the COVID-19 infection rates still, up, our hands are considered a way of transmission. The Immutouch band vibrates every time you reach for your face, or any touchpoint you personally calibrate, to remind you to think before you touch.
Check out more about the Immutouch band and if it could work for you at our website, https://immutouch.com/. Stay covered and stay safe!