CORONA VIRUS: WHEN TO WEAR A MASK


Suzanne Andrews at work at the hospital.

With the corona virus still around, we've been told that we should wear masks, we shouldn't wear masks, so which is the right answer?

Both!


I'll tell you why.


When cultural distancing can’ ’t be implemented, a face mask provides some protection against the spreading of COVID-19.

While we've all heard so much about how the current coronavirus spreads and the different opinions on the ways to defend against COVID, COVID-19 is a new virus and is still being studied. You've heard by now the most powerful protections includes washing your hands often with soap and water and exercising cultural and personal distancing.

As a medical professional since 2006, wearing a face mask is nothing new. We've been wearing face masks for years when we have to treat a patient who has an infectious disease. We even take classes on the best way to put on the gear and remove it. I've also heard other people saying a face mask only protects others. That statement in only half correct. A face mask protects you from being infected by a virus or bacteria because if a person with covid 19 sneezes or coughs within 6 feet of you, you can get a serious infection.


Frankly I was surprised to hear the CDC initially say wearing a mask won't protect you. If that were true, why have medical professionals been wearing masks for many years when treating patients with an infectious airborne disease?


It is not to only protect the patient, it is also to protect the medical professional from an airborne virus invading their mouth and nose.


There are several ways to transmit covid 19 but one of them is through touching the virus and than touching your eyes, nose or mouth. So when you're out in public, it's important to wear a mask for both yourself and others. Is wearing a mask full proof? No.


A mask collects a lot of bacteria, so you need to change it daily if it's a disposable one. You can give yourself another layer of protection by putting on disposable gloves before taking off your mask off and if you wear a cloth mask, wash the mask in hot water with detergent that kills bacteria.


There is a specific way you should remove gloves so as not to contaminate yourself. Here's a quick video that shows you how.


HOW TO REMOVE GLOVES TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM CONTAMINATION



CAN YOU STILL GET COVID 19 IF YOU WEAR A FACE MASK?

You can still get it covid 19 if you are within a close distance to someone who is infected and that person sneezes and the droplets goes into your eyes. That's why people who are most likely to come in contact with covid 19 wear additional gear that includes face shields and googles. The reason why they do this is because covering all entryways into the body offers protection.


However, if you are not in direct contact with covid 19 a face shield is not necessary. At the hospital I work at I'm required to wear a Face Shield only when I go and see a patient. I am required to wear a mask at all times though and understandably so since I am at the place where sick people are.


WHEN TO WEAR A MASK?


If you're going out and will be around people who are going to be within 6 feet of you then wearing a mask is best. But if you're somewhere where you will not be in close contact with unknown people and you are not at risk of anyone sneezing or coughing near you, you don't need to wear a mask.


Hoping you stay safe and wishing you Healthiest Blessings!

Suzanne Andrews




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