While scientists and researchers worldwide continue to gather more insight into the novel coronavirus better, medical professionals have insisted that wearing a surgical mask is one of the essential safety measures. All the same, it comes as little surprise that there has been a lot of mixed reactions in regards to wearing surgical masks in public.
Initially, the Centers for Disease Control was for the idea that face masks were not effective in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Today, health experts have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that face masks are essential in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Even so, it is worth noting that different types of face masks have different degrees of effectiveness.
Ideally, there are three main types of face masks used today to prevent the spread of coronavirus and a surgical mask is one of the most effective face masks for preventing the spread of Covid-19. Read on to find out why.
What Is a Surgical Mask?
Also commonly referred to as a medical mask, a surgical mask is simply a loose-fitting facial mask that protects your mouth and nose from coming into contact with splashes and droplets. The design behind surgical masks allows them to filter out extensive air particles from gaining access to your respiratory tract.
Although medical professionals have used surgical masks for a long time, it has proven to be an essential tool for combating the spread of Covid-19. Both the CDC and the World Health Organization strongly recommend using surgical masks for the general public to prevent them from contracting Covid-19.
The good news is that you can buy surgical masks with ease online at a pocket-friendly price.
Effectiveness of Surgical Masks
A surgical mask is one of the most effective methods of preventing the spread of the coronavirus but just how effective are they?
1. Surgical Masks Help Protect Those Around You
You probably know by now that Covid-19 mainly spreads from one person to another through respiratory droplets. These droplets travel through the air when you cough, sneeze, talk or even sing and can land on those near you with ease.
Surgical masks are simple barriers that help to prevent your respiratory droplets from reaching others around you. Extensive studies show that you stand a better chance of controlling your respiratory droplets from others around you when you wear a surgical mask around your mouth and nose.
This is not to say that you should wear a surgical mask only when you are sick. A lot of people have been found to be asymptomatic meaning they can still spread the virus to others without them knowing it.
Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that you wear a mask every time you are with people you don’t live with, and whenever you are unable to maintain social distancing.
2. Your Surgical Mask Will offer Your Protection
Apart from protecting others around you, a surgical mask is also instrumental in protecting you from contracting Covid-19. The same way a facial mask will prevent respiratory droplets from landing on others is the same way it will cover your face from those droplets or from inhaling them.
Even so, different factors such as how well your mask fits and the number of layers of your surgical mask will determine the level of protection you will get from your surgical mask.
Also Read: How Coronavirus Affects Students Worldwide
How To Put on and Remove a Face Mask
Unlike many other face masks, surgical masks are one-time use items. This means that once you remove your surgical mask, you should dispose of it. Although it may seem common knowledge, many people fail to understand how to put on and remove a surgical cover correctly.
A vast majority of surgical mask products come with instructions on putting on and removing your face mask. However, this is not always the case in some products.
Therefore, to safely and correctly put on your surgical mask, this is what you should do:
- Sanitize your hands using alcohol-based sanitizer before touching your mask cover. You can also wash your hands using soap and water.
- Carefully remove your mask from the box and thoroughly inspect it to ensure no apparent tears are on either side of the mask.
- Determine the right side to put on. Usually, the colored side of the surgical mask is the outer side, and the white side is the inner side meant to cover your nose and mouth.
- Once you determine the right side to put on, go ahead to mold the surgical mask’s stiff edge to take the shape of your nose.
- Put it on and ensure that your surgical mask covers both your mouth and nose.
How To Remove Your Surgical Face Mask
Just like putting on your surgical mask, knowing how to remove your surgical cover is equally important. This is to ensure that you don’t come into contact with potentially contaminated respiratory droplets. To properly remove your surgical mask, you should:
- Thoroughly sanitize your hands before and after touching your mask.
- Avoid touching the front part of your surgical mask. Remember that the outer part of your surgical mask could be contaminated with droplets that carry coronavirus.
- Remove your surgical facemask only by touching the ear loops or band.
- Carefully wrap your surgical mask in a piece of disposable paper before throwing it in the trash.
- If you suspect to have touched the front part while removing your surgical mask, you should ensure to sanitize your hands.
- Keep in mind that it’s one thing to have a surgical mask and another to use it properly. The steps highlighted above should, however, go a long way in helping you as well as those around you stay safe from the coronavirus.
Be Socially Responsible
Amid the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, what is certain is that wearing a surgical mask is one of the best ways of reducing the spread of coronavirus. However, it all boils down to you as an individual to be socially responsible in ensuring that you put on your surgical mask in the right manner and observe social distancing.