When Should You Be Wearing A Mask?

Wearing surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment have been required by many states and governments. For a long time, a lot of people have been focusing on the information available about the surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment. 

With that, this article aims to provide information on when individuals should be wearing surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment and how they can protect themselves.

When Should You Be Wearing A Mask?

The general population should always be wearing surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment. So, the question is not on when you should be wearing a mask but more on who should be wearing a mask. 

Generally, everyone who is above the age of 2 or older should wear a mask in public settings. They should also be wearing a mask when they are around people who do not live in the same household. It is highly important for people to keep in mind that they need to always wear the right kind of surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment as long as they are above the age of 2 and are in a public setting.

Who Should Not Be Wearing A Mask?

At this point, there are also individuals who should not be wearing a mask and they are the following:

  • Children younger than 2 years old;
  • Any person who has trouble breathing;
  • Any person who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance;
  • Individuals who have sensory, cognitive, or behavioral issues;

Individuals who are unable to wear a mask properly or cannot tolerate a mask, for one reason or another, should not wear a mask, and they should consider adaptations and alternatives. 

How Do You Properly Wear A Mask?

Wearing surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment, should be done properly. A lot of governments have tried to make wearing a mask a normal part of being in public places. 

To properly wear a mask, you should know how to wear the following:

  • You should make sure that you clean your face and pat it dry before you put your mask on. 
  • You should make sure that you clean your hands as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
  • When you are wearing your surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment, you should make sure that it covers both your nose, mouth and chin. 

How Do You Take Off The Mask?

When you take off your mask, make sure that you store it in a clean plastic bag and throw it in the trash. Wash your hands properly or use alcohol based products to clean your hands. 

When Is Wearing A Surgical Mask Good Enough?

Keep in mind that wearing a surgical mask is good enough for when you are going to a place that is not as highly populated as malls or those areas with good ventilation. You may easily get frustrated by the idea of wearing a surgical mask in places where there are not a lot of people but you should not forget that the virus can stay in the air for some time. Hence, you should wear a surgical mask.

When Is Wearing An N95 Mask Good Enough?

Wearing an N95 mask is also good enough in the following instances:

  • When you are in a hospital;
  • When you are in a mall;
  • When you are in a highly populated place; and 
  • When you are going to visit those  with a high vulnerability rate on the virus.

How Many Uses Can I Expect For My Surgical Masks?

You can wear the surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment once. These equipment are meant for one time use only. You should expect to use them only once and they are not meant for any kind of reuse.

While there are decontamination methods that have been released in public, you should keep in mind that you should expect to just use the products once, for your own protection.

Wearing A Mask Is Important

At the end of the day, it is important to wear a mask. The use of surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment, are all for the good of the people. You should make sure that you wear a mask because it has all of the advantages. 

Lisa M. Lee, PhD, a public health expert specializing in infectious disease epidemiology and public health ethics at Virginia Tech said that: "Wearing a mask helps prevent respiratory droplets from spreading as far as they otherwise would without a mask. If a person has a respiratory infection—in this case, SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19—breathing, coughing, and sneezing can spew droplets that travel six to 14 feet away. Wearing a mask reduces the amount of space these droplets travel and will help prevent transmission”.

Indeed, there is a reduction in community transmission if individuals would follow to wear the right kind of surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment.

Wearing surgical masks, N95 masks, N95 respirators, and other personal protective equipment and everything else that you can think of is definitely one of the best things that you should keep in mind when you are in a public place.

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