You are probably wondering why in the holy hell I am writing a post about this face mask stuff, but there is a method to my madness. Note that this speaks most specifically to surgical face masks and commercially made cloth masks, not to homemade masks as much.
Face Masks In Real Time
Yesterday, my niece told me about how restaurants are now opening up where she lives in the US Southwest. She ordered food for her family and was picking it up to take back home. This was the first time she set foot in a restaurant in over 6 weeks and she was quite uncomfortable being out, but thought she would stand far from others and watch. She was also wearing her face mask.
What she saw horrified her.
All but 2 people in the restaurant were wearing their masks incorrectly. And worse. Many had the masks below their noses.
That is not proper and does not protect either you or others around you.
No One Likes Wearing Face Masks
But, they are crucial right now. Not only to protect you, but to protect others in case you have the Coronavirus and are asymptomatic. We all need to take care of each other right now! You never know who around you is vulnerable… pregnant women, the mom next door, your own children. We need to watch out and treat each other kindly.
So, because we need to wear them, we should be wearing them correctly.
Back to the Restaurant
My niece was horrified when she saw the servers removing their masks when they went to take the people’s orders, replacing them when they walked away. Then, when serving the dinners, took the mask off again!
And they were removing them like this:
TOUCHING THE PART WITH ALL THE PARTICLES ON IT!
Serving, without gloves and the mask down around their neck after touching the thing over and over again.
THIS DOES NOT HELP THE SPREAD OF THE DISEASE!
Even if you are more lenient with folks around you, a server who is in contact with dozens of people an hour really are a risk you should not have to endure. Watch the server’s actions before you sit down to eat in a restaurant.
What I Learned About Face/Surgical Masks
In researching this, I learned why surgical face masks are put on a certain way.
The face mask should be put on with the WHITE side on the inside next to your mouth. The COLORED side facing out.
You see, the coloured outer layers are water-repellent, to prevent any bodily fluids (for example, sweat, blood or mucus) from being absorbed into the surgical mask.
Conversely, the white layer absorbs many of the secretions that we release from our respiratory system.
Wearing the surgical mask the wrong way around would not only increase discomfort but could also reduce its effectiveness.
Do You Wear Glasses?
One of the major complaints about wearing a mask comes from folks like me who wear glasses. They fog up with each exhalation and damn, that is inconvenient!
It seems the best way to keep your glasses from fogging up while wearing a mask is to wash your glasses with soap and water before putting them on. Wash them and then dry them with a soft cloth or let them air dry. The soap puts a sheer coat on the lenses that repel the condensation.
If you look in the picture above, you can see how the glasses are over the mask, that is a great way to see while wearing one, too. And if you have a surgical face mask with a bendy part near the top of the mask, you can mold it to your nose. Even homemade masks can have a pipe cleaner or a bread twist tie sewn into the hem allowing you to bend it across your nose.
How to Remove the Mask
So that you do not touch the germs/virus particles, you do not pull the mask off from the front, but like this:
Use the ear loops to remove the mask.
When you have finished wearing a disposable mask, please put it in the trash, not throw it down on the ground.