Do I put it in the washing machine? Shall I take it off to speak? What you should NOT do with your mask to protect yourself from the coronavirus (when you finally get one)

Masks have become the great subject of debate in this coronavirus crisis. From January until now everything we have heard about them it has been changing And, today, it seems that we will have to normalize the fact that, although to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, maintain social distance, washing your hands often and not touching your face are the unavoidable measures to follow, masks also have their role … if we use them correctly.

While we get acquainted with the idea that from now on it will not be strange that we go out into the street with a mask on, we tell you how to use them, make them and keep them so that they fulfill their mission, because experts warn: a misused mask It is more dangerous than any mask, because it creates the (false) feeling that you are protected when you are actually exposing yourself. So take note:

Do not take it off when you enter the supermarket or to talk, cough or sneeze

The pharmacist Guillermo Melgar (@farmaenfurecida on Twitter) makes it very clear in an image by the illustrator Maribel Carod: the mask only works when it is properly put on … and stays in place. If it doesn't cover your nose and mouth, bad. And if you take it off to greet the neighbor (even if it's from a distance) or ask for the bread at the bakery, that's also bad.

If they give it to you, take it the right way

I warned Maria Garcia on his famous Twitter account @boticariagarcia: Pharmacists offered to dispense the masks for free in a regulated manner through the health card, and who is responsible for distributing them? The subway guards, the sworn guards of the means of transport … Consequence: neither they know how to give them with guarantees nor we can take them so that we minimize the chances of contagion.

The masks they should be delivered sealed or, failing that, be given only by touching the threads that hold them to our ears or never and they must be collected, with clean hands, from that same place. If you touch the central part or anyone who is going to be in contact with the face and we have previously touched a surface infected by the virus, using the mask will do us little good.

It doesn't matter if you wear a mask or not if you put it on and take it off badly.

Must be snug (even if your glasses get foggy)

After tying it, the upper part of the mask (which sometimes has a metal part) You should adjust it to the bridge of the nose by pinching gently with clean hands so that the mask moves as little as possible. The tissue that is in contact with the sides of the face must also be well adjusted. Needless to say, walking around with the mask just covering your mouth does not prevent any contagion.

You should take it off just like you put it on

Wash your hands before removing the mask and don't touch it for its central part, remove it by untying the straps or by the elastic bands of the ears, take it with one hand and throw it in the garbage can in a closable bag. Then, wash your hands again with soap and water.

If possible, do not use it more than once

You must have heard that there is various mask disinfection systems… As none are home-made and none have been shown to be effective against the coronavirus. Then stop using water vapors and bleach, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide baths that will only serve to deform them.

If you only use your mask to go shopping once a week and you cannot get rid of it because you have no other, when you get home put it in a bag that you can seal and leave it to rest all week. Wait a week for your possible viral load is reduced it will be more effective than steaming it. But if what you have is a DIY fabric mask … keep reading.

If you do it yourself, follow the CDC directions

CDC's instructions for making your own cloth mask is as simple as cut out two rectangles of fabric bushy, sew them together, make a hem and go through the sides elastic rubber to secure them to the ears. And if you consult your sewing guide you will also find a way to make cloth masks with T-shirts and bandanas in case you don't have a sewing machine. Do these homemade masks protect the same as surgical ones?

Video:Pharmacists advocate prescribing masks using the health card

Well depends on the quality of your raw material. To give you an idea, a disposable surgical mask filters 89% of the particles while a 73% cotton tea towel, a antimicrobial pillowcase 68%, a silk scarf 54% and the 100% cotton 51%. The biggest advantage of these masks is that you can make them to your needs and, in addition, disinfect them by washing them in the washing machine in the hot water program (60 to 90 degrees) and let them dry completely before using them again.

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