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Are homemade masks able to protect you from COVID-19?

Since the very beginning of the apparent global shortage of surgical masks as well as N95 respirators at markets as a result of the current pandemic homemade masks appear on the scene as an economic alternative solution due to the high cost of the other types of masks.

But the question  that baffles many; “Do homemade masks have the capability of protecting their users from COVID19 or is it worthless?”

Risks and benefits of homemade masks:

Although surgical masks and N95 respirators provide further protection against various microbes despite tiny they are, CDC confirmed the benefit of homemade masks in controlling the spread of Covid19 so that it may  keep the situation away  from being worse.

The role of homemade masks apparently arises in preventing virus transmission from asymptomatic patients through their droplets specially in crowded places where distancing can hardly be applied as in groceries or bakeries.

Along with utilizing homemade masks, also proper hygiene practices including:washing hands frequently with soap and alcohol sanitizers plus keeping your hands away from your face, physical distancing ought to be completely appliedin order to obtain the optimum protection against covid19 since homemade- masks can’t provide full protection the way other kinds of masksdo.

Specifications of Homemade masks’ cloth:

Considerations concerning cloth qualifications used for homemade masks are:

  • Washable and dried without being damaged, for example, cotton T-shirt or pillowcases.
  • Allow breathing effectively.
  • Be tight on your nose and chin with ties or loops.
  • Different colors for both sides so it could be easily distinguished.

Guidelines for using homemade masks:

  • Put the mask on in crowded places and leave a space of not less than 1meter between you and other people.
  • Determine the outer part of the mask so you could and keep it outwards every time you wear it.
  • Hold your mask from ear loops or straps to avoid touching it directly in order to keep it clean and protect yourself from contamination.
  • Avoid touching your face after removing your mask till you wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based sanitizer before and after doffing your mask.

Who could be prohibited from wearing homemade face masks?

Children less than 2 years old, elderly who suffer from breathing disorders and disabled people who can’t doff their mask by their own are banned from using homemade masks.

How to sterilize the homemade mask?

Before wearing your homemade mask for the first time, it is a must to wash it with hot water(160° F) with soap or a disinfectant to ensure your safety.

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2020/04/face-masks.php

https://www.healthline.com/health/coronavirus-mask#takeaway

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