The best way to protect yourself from the virus is to be informed and knowledgeable. It’s inevitable for myths and fake information to spread at a time like this so it’s important to fact check things you read online. Make sure that the guides and advice you take are from credible sources. Articles from the World Health Organization and news from reputable news companies are examples of credible sources that you can trust.
First thing is to wear a mask. Wearing a mask is one of the most important strategies in preventing transmission. Although wearing a mask alone isn’t enough. As much as possible you should also avoid going to crowded places. Staying at home is the best way to do that. If you can limit or lessen the times that you go out to public places, the better. If you do go out, choose to go to places where it’s well ventilated. Outdoors are always better because it’s an open space. If you’re eating out, since most places allow dining in now, choose to sit outside the restaurant instead.
It is worth noting which kind of masks to use. Well, any kind of mask is better than wearing no mask, but different masks have different uses. For example, if a man has a big beard and normal mask won’t do much and they’ll need to use beard masks, or medical professionals will need to use a medical mask as they work in a higher risk environment. Although, you must wear a medical mask if you are part of the following:
If you’re a health worker
If you feel unwell and you show symptoms that are similar covid-19 symptoms. Such symptoms include muscle ache, coughing, sore throat, or fatigue.
If you just got tested and you’re waiting for your CVS Covid test results.
If you recently were with a person who’s suspected to have COVID-19 or who is confirmed to have COVID-19.
If you relate to the things listed above. Wearing a medical mask will aid the prevention of transmission.
There are also types of people who are more vulnerable or who are more at risk. If you belong to the group listed below, you must also wear a medical mask to protect yourself from getting the virus.
- If you are aged 60 and over.
- If you have any health condition such as chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, immunocompromised, and diabetes mellitus.
Make sure that after wearing a medical mask, dispose of it properly. Put it straight in the trash bin. Don’t leave it laying around your house before throwing it away.
For the general public who do not belong to the list of people above, if you don’t have any access to medical masks, non-medical or fabric masks are okay to use. Fabric masks that are made of three layers of fabric are effective. If you’re buying fabric masks make sure it has these properties:
- For the inner layer, an absorbent material like cotton
- For the middle layer, a non woven and non absorbent material like polypropylene
- For the other layer, a non absorbent material like polyester
A mask that has these properties meets the national performance standards. Don’t reuse a fabric mask, wash it before using it again.
A type of mask to avoid are those with vents or exhalation valves as it will allow unfiltered breath to escape the mask.