We are all living in a very confusing time. With strict regulations around group gatherings constantly changing and most public spaces shutting down within days of reopening, it is quite tricky to understand how to best go about our lives in the safest way possible.
With face masks now being compulsory in almost all places across the world, it is quite evident that there is still a lot of uncertainty about where, when and how we can best use them, leading to the spread of misinformation and myths. Debunking these misconceptions around face masks, below are a few facts you must know before you forward that next WhatsApp text!
Myth: I only have to wear the mask over my mouth, not over my nose.
Fact: If you’re one of those people who have felt the tinge of frustration running through your veins at the sight of someone donning a mask over their mouth but not their nose, you are using your mask right! Well, you have been correct all along because it has been scientifically proven that airborne droplets and particles may carry viruses that are inhaled through the mouth and nose. So, it is extremely essential to ensure that your face mask covers both your mouth and nose for your protection and safety of the entire community.
Myth: Wearing a mask makes it difficult to breathe
Fact: Although wearing a mask may feel uncomfortable initially, a lot of extensive research has shown that wearing one has absolutely no impact on the saturation of oxygen in your blood. While it is definitely going to take a lot of effort on your part to adjust with wearing a mask whenever you go out, it is equally important to remember that it is the closest thing you have to protect yourself.
Myth: All face masks provide the same level of protection
Fact: While there are numerous face masks available in the market, it only makes sense to believe that the level of protection in each type of mask varies. In conventional masks, it depends upon the level of filtration which the masks offer to a great extent.
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Myth: I don’t have to wash my hands or practice social distancing if I wear a face mask
Fact: Absolutely not. Wearing a face mask is one of the many steps that you must take in order to prevent the contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. It should be used in conjunction with washing hands as per the WHO guidelines and also practice social distancing as much as possible.
Myth: If I am not ill, I do not have to wear a mask.
Fact: A lot of people with COVID-19 are said to be asymptomatic, which means, they do not show symptoms. Hence, the importance of wearing a mask in order to protect those you come in contact with from any viruses or bacteria that you may be carrying, definitely cannot be understated.
Myth: Children do not have to wear a mask.
Fact: While this is true to some extent, it cannot be regarded as a hard and fast fact. Although kids under the age of 11 have been exempted from wearing face masks in shops, a lot of parents have actually expressed a preference for their children to wear a mask considering the fact that no one is immune from catching the disease or transmitting it to others. So, precaution is always better than cure.
Be it surgical disposable masks or cloth masks – wearing one is a crucial preventive measure and is most essential during times when social distancing is difficult. At a time when the world is still battling the aftermath of the deadly virus, it is extremely important that we understand the sheer significance of wearing masks and get our facts right to hinder the spread of misinformation.