Masks: When and How to Use Them

By: Dr. Robert Weinstein,

         as  interviewed by Tanvi Maharaja

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The coronavirus has created incredible chaos and has affected each and every one of us in different ways. The challenges are manifold, from identifying the symptoms, to testing, to developing targeted treatments. Since the symptoms follow a wide array of variations, detection is a challenge.

One of the many ways in which we can prevent the infection from spreading is through the use of a face mask. Since we can still shed the virus while not having any symptoms, wearing a mask in public can help control the spread of infection. This is especially important when people are less than six feet apart, making the use of face coverings in public an important step in mitigation efforts against the coronavirus. A face covering such as a bandanna or a scarf works too, as do cloth masks which can be homemade.

With masks, people need to pay attention to a few things:
  • Make sure the mask covers your nose as well as your mouth. It should fit snugly but not cause any breathing difficulties.
  • Contamination can be a problem. Avoid touching your mask, just as you avoid touching your face without a mask. The virus can transfer from your hand to the mask, and enter the respiratory system.
  • Another detail is hydration. It is very easy to forget or delay drinking water as the process of mask removal can be tedious if all hygiene protocols are followed. So remind yourself to drink water on the hour.
  • Skin sensitivity has also been noted with mask use. While a barrier such as a gauze pad or Vaseline can minimize irritation, if rashes appear or persist, your doctor can provide appropriate ointment.
  • Remember to wash your face masks regularly, after each exposure or outing, if they are textile and washable.

Getting sunlight, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising are important lifestyle habits that are especially needed now to maximize the body’s defense against the virus.

Weinstein,-Robert

 

 

To learn more about Dr. Weinstein or request an appointment, visit bit.ly/MDweinstein

 

 

 

Reference: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/cloth-face-coverings-information.pdf

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