How to use the mask correctly?

How to use the mask correctly?

How to use the mask correctly?

The mask should not be worn for more than two hours and must be washed after each use. A disposable discard.

From next Thursday, Poles must cover their faces in public places - said Minister of Health Łukasz Szumowski. The new recipes, the details of which will be known after the holidays, are to help limit the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

Doctors from the Agreement of Health Care Employers appealed for the introduction of the obligation to wear masks. In their view, covering faces on the streets, squares, public transport, shops, pharmacies, offices, and other public places is aimed at protecting those who are not yet infected.


Even 50 percent of Coronavirus infection cases may be asymptomatic. Those who develop symptoms can become infected just a few days before the onset of typical virus symptoms. So it's hard to guess who is the carrier and who is infected. No wonder that more and more countries are introducing the obligation to wear masks. Following the example of Asian authorities, this decision has already been made in Europe by the Czech Republic and Slovakia. From next Thursday, Poles will not leave their homes without covered mouth and nose.

- SARS-CoV-2 is a very small virus. The diameter of a single molecule is 60 to 140 nanometers. Meanwhile, most masks are able to retain pathogens larger than 300 nanometers that coronavirus will pass easily. On the other hand, it is not suspended in the air by itself. This occurs in the form of larger or smaller particles suspended in an aerosol. Masks, depending on the filters used in them, protect us from this aerosol, so indirectly and against coronavirus. The smaller the particles and the larger the percentage they filter, the tighter they are, the better - explains Agnieszka Motyl, a specialist in family medicine and an epidemiologist from Medicover.

Covering the mouth and nose protects in two ways. First of all, such a layer of fabric is designed to keep pathogens with us, which we throw out coughing, sneezing, and even speaking louder. Both epidemiologists and researchers of fluid and gas dynamics have no doubt that such infected, the smallest particles can under favorable conditions travel a distance of 4 to 6 m. This is 2-3 times more than the social distance recommended by the WHO. The larger they are, the smaller the range, and the easier it will be to protect them against the face. - Masks protect the environment from infected people who wear them - explains the specialist.

On the other hand, each physical barrier provides additional protection against external pathogens. - No mask will protect us 100%. The best protect the medical filtering masks, but they are needed to protect healthcare workers or caregivers who are in close contact with the infected on a daily basis - explains the specialist. - Surgical masks protect against larger particles. There are several types, for example, those that are resistant to moisture from the outside - he adds.

The weakest protection, but also effective to some extent, are fabric masks. - The denser fabric they are made of, the more layers they have, the better their filters, and the better they match the face, the better protection they provide to the person wearing them - emphasizes the epidemiologist.

The National Infectious Disease Consultant clearly specifies what masks for non-coronavirus-infected people should not do to medical professionals. These are cotton, cotton fabrics with an admixture of elastane, cotton with linen, linen, 100% polyester, viscose with polyester admixture, polyamide with polyester, and interlining. Their "flat" size should be at least 17.5 cm by 9 cm. These materials must meet one more condition: leave the laundry unscathed in 60 degrees. Celsius. Only at such a temperature combined with the action of detergents does the virus die. - But here I am calling for a reason. It is different to wear clothes on the body and different to non-stop contact with the mask. Perfumed, irritating washing agents may sensitize us and make it difficult to wear masks,

According to research published in 2013 at Cambridge University Press by scientists from Public Health England, such cotton masks are three times less protective against the spread of pathogens compared to professional masks. On the other hand, they protect the environment against illness. The choice is so simple.

You don't have a mask? The minister's task can be successfully replaced with e.g. a scarf or scarf, provided that such a piece of fabric covers both the mouth and nose.


According to many specialists, wearing a reusable mask can reduce involuntary touching of the face, which makes infection easier. However, there are also voices that constantly improving badly installed protection, improper removal, can do more harm than good. In addition, it gives the appearance of security, which increases the risk of infection. - Covering the face reduces the build-up of virus-infected particles, but this is not the only way infection occurs. When putting on the mask, we must not forget about the washing and disinfecting hands. Wearing it does not mean that we can meet friends, break the rules of maintaining distance in public places. It is unacceptable to wear it slid loosely under the chin, repeatedly putting on and putting on the disposable mask, touching its outer surface. Let's be honest, no mask protects 100 percent. We have limited access to personal security measures. The world is not perfect. But even these imperfect solutions, but used by the general public, and in combination with other methods of infection control, give a flattening of the epidemic curve - emphasizes the doctor.


Regardless of the type of protection, we always apply it with clean, washed water with soap or disinfected hands. It should cover the nose and mouth tightly and not move. The surgical masks on sale have standard dimensions, but also have tabs that can be adjusted exactly to the face.

In turn, fabric masks should be sewn to the user's size. In online stores, you can choose from women's, men's, and children's models in three sizes (small, medium, large). It is also possible to dimension them for the client.

The mask should not be worn for too long. - The standard talk is about 40 minutes, but in a situation where we have limited access to face protections, it should not be longer than to get wet - a maximum of an hour or two - explains the doctor. This also applies to custom solutions in the form of handkerchiefs or scarves.

At this time, touching the face and sliding off the mask, e.g. to eat or drink, is excluded.

After returning home, and even in a private car, which is our "safe" space, we carefully remove the protection. - In the case of masks with elastics, we grab them from the back and slide them off, being careful not to touch the outer layer of the mask, or nose, mouth, or eyes. In the case of laced, we always start with the lower straps so that the mask does not slip uncontrollably. Disposable masks are thrown into the mixed waste bin, preferably pre-secured. Reusable, put in a plastic, tightly closed bag, and keep it until we wash it. Then we wash our hands, and preferably the face, with soap, which in the spring season will also allow us to get rid of pollen from it - explains Agnieszka Motyl.

As the specialist emphasizes, multiple-use protective devices, such as masks or scarves, should be ready for washing after each use. Therefore, everyone should have several in stock.

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