Maska për fytyrën dhe mbulesa për fytyrën: Udhëzuesi juaj absolut
Jeni drejtuar për në dyqane sot? Mos harroni të mbuloni fytyrën tuaj. Tani është e detyrueshme të vishni një në dyqane dhe transportin publik në disa pjesë të Mbretërisë së Bashkuar, ndërsa këshillohet fuqimisht në të tjerët. Ata të kapur pa një mund të përballen me gjobë dhe madje do të ndalohet të hyjnë në dyqane dhe fluturime.
Duke qenë se mbulesat e fytyrës janë një koncept mjaft i ri për shumicën (dhe shumë mesazhe të përziera gjatë disa muajve të fundit), mund të jetë konfuze të dini se ku të filloni kur vishni një – dhe pse madje do të shqetësoheni.
Kjo është arsyeja pse ne kemi tërhequr së bashku të gjitha informacionet e fundit në një vend për t’ju ndihmuar në rrugën tuaj për t’u përballur me madhështinë.
Cfarë lloj mask fytyre duhet të vesh?
Ka dhjetëra lloje të maskës së fytyrës dhe fytyrës që mbulojnë atje, gjë që i bën gjërat mjaft konfuze nëse nuk jeni të sigurt se ku mund të filloni kur blini (ose bëni) një të tillë.
Siç qëndron, publikut të gjerë i kërkohet të veshë mbulesa fytyre nga qeveria e Mbretërisë së Bashkuar. Këto janë të ndryshme nga maska për fytyrën e klasës kirurgjikale dhe mjekësore që veshin punëtorët e kujdesit shëndetësor.
Mbulimi i fytyrës mund të jetë çdo gjë nga shalle që mbështjellin fytyrën tuaj deri tek mbulesat materiale që ju tani mund të blini nga shumë shitës me pakicë në rrugë të lartë (ia vlen të përmendet se këto janë të parregulluara dhe nuk konsiderohen të përshtatshme për përdorim mjekësor).
Rregulli kryesor i veshjes së një fytyre është që ajo duhet të mbulojë hundën dhe gojën tuaj për të punuar siç duhet. Ai gjithashtu duhet të përshtatet mirë, që do të thotë të mos keni boshllëqe në anët – dëshironi që ajo të përshtatet në fytyrë, duke u ulur në majë të hundës dhe duke u lagur nën mjekrën tuaj. Avionët e ajrit mund të shpëtojnë nga pjesa e pasme dhe anët e disa maskave nëse nuk janë të përshtatshëm, zbuloi një studim.
Bandanas, shami dhe shalle nuk janë veçanërisht të efektshme në mbajtjen e mikrobeve të njerëzve nën mbështjellje, kanë zbuluar studimet. Përkundrazi, ekspertët (përfshirë Organizatën Botërore të Shëndetësisë) pajtohen që veshja më e mirë për tu veshur në publik është një shtëpi e bërë nga tre shtresa të materialeve të endura fort, siç është pambuku.
Materialet e tjera që funksionojnë mirë përfshijnë peshqir çaji dhe pëlhura të përziera pambuku, xhins dhe jastëkë antimikrobikë. Një kombinim i shtresave është më i efektshmi – kështu që merrni krijues. Gjeni këshilla se si t’i bëni ato këtu dhe këtu.
Për njerëzit që janë në grupe me rrezik të lartë – për shembull, ata nga komunitetet etnike të Zeza, Aziatike dhe ato pakicë, ose ata me kushte themelore – Dr David Strain, një klinik në Spitalin Royal Devon dhe Exeter, rekomandon maska kirurgjikale rezistente ndaj ujit. Kini kujdes për një shenjë CE kur i blini këto.
Një studim i publikuar pikërisht këtë javë ka krahasuar efektivitetin e mbulesave të fytyrës me një shtresë të vetme dhe me dy shtresa (shtresa e vetme është bërë nga një copë palosur e këmishës T pambuku dhe lidhjeve të flokëve, ndërsa shtresa e dyfishtë një është bërë duke përdorur metodën e qepjes, si të përcaktuara nga CDC) me një maskë kirurgjikale 3-fytyrëshe të fytyrës (e bërë nga prodhuesi Bao Thach).
Ajo zbuloi se maskë kirurgjikale ishte më e mira në mbajtjen e mikrobeve nën mbështjellje, e ndjekur nga mbulesa me dy shtresa. Studiuesit përfunduan: “Udhëzimet për maskat e rrobave shtëpiake duhet të përcaktojnë shtresa të shumta”. Nëse dyshoni, tre janë më të mirët.
Cfarë lloj maske duhet të shmang per ta veshur?
Ekspertët këshillojnë me forcë kundër përdorimit të maskave të valvulave, të blera zakonisht në internet. Kjo për shkak se valvula e njëanshme mbyllet kur një person merr frymë dhe hapet kur marrin frymë jashtë, domethënë ndërsa valvula nuk lejon mikrobet (duke mbrojtur veshin), ai lejon që përshpejtimet e një personi të lënë maskën.
Prandaj nuk mbron të tjerët dhe ngadalëson përhapjen e koronavirusit në vendet publike. Maska me valvula janë ndaluar në disa qytete dhe qarqe në Amerikë për shkak të kësaj.
Professor Trisha Greenhalgh, an expert in primary care at University of Oxford, previously told HuffPost UK: “The valve acts like an exhaust pipe, potentially spewing germs out to the environment. Cloth face coverings are the best thing. They stop droplets – that’s why they get wet of course, and you have to change them when they do.
“Droplets contain viral particles so the more droplets get caught in your face covering, the fewer germs get into the air. A valved mask bypasses the barrier and potentially emits the droplets in an explosive gas cloud.”
Hairdressers and shop workers may also wear face shields, however Dr Strain says they are not protective on their own and should be worn in addition to a face covering.
Medical face masks are designed to protect the wearer from infection, and are vital for frontline staff who are at risk from close contact with Covid-19 patients. While these masks – the N95s and FFP2/FFP3s – are “very good”, says Dr Strain, they still need to be reserved for people working in healthcare settings due to shortages. Ethically, buying these up for public use is a no-no.
Where do I need to wear one?
Well, this very much depends on where you’re based. In England, face coverings are compulsory in: shops, supermarkets, hospitals, indoor shopping centres, indoor train stations, airports, ports, and indoor bus and coach stations. The rule also applies to banks, building societies and post offices. It’s not compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear a covering.
It’s also compulsory to wear a face covering when buying food and drink to take away from cafes and shops. But people will be allowed to remove coverings if the place where they’ve bought food or drink has somewhere to sit down and eat.
In Scotland, it’s mandatory to wear face covers in shops and on public transport. A shop is defined as any indoor establishment which offers goods or services for sale or hire. Staff are strongly advised to wear face coverings even when 2m physical distancing is applied.
Face coverings must also be worn on public transport including trains, buses, taxis and private hire vehicles, bus stations and railway stations, airports, ferry services and airline services.
They aren’t mandatory in hospitality premises such as cafes, coffee shops, restaurants or pubs. It also excludes money services businesses such as banks and building societies.
In Northern Ireland, all passengers and staff on public transport must wear a face covering. This includes: on bus, coach and train services; in public transport stations; in indoor areas of a ferry and outdoor areas where you can’t keep two metres social distance. The rule doesn’t apply to tour coaches, taxis or private hire vehicles – that said, some operators may have their own rules you should follow.
Wearing face coverings is advised in places where you can’t easily physically distance in Wales, but is not a legal requirement.
It’s worth noting some people might choose to cover their faces in other settings, too. Dr Strain at the University of Exeter Medical School, believes they should be worn wherever 2m physical distancing can’t be maintained – this includes in workplaces.
The UK government also advises this but it isn’t mandatory. Guidance says people are “strongly encouraged” to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Who doesn’t need to wear a face cover?
Children aged under three years of age should not, under any circumstances, wear face coverings or masks as it could be dangerous.
Professor Viv Bennett, chief nurse at Public Health England (PHE), said she’s been made aware that face coverings for babies and very young children are available for sale in England – and warned against their use.
“Guidance is clear that children under the age of three years should not wear face coverings or masks,” she says. “These masks should not be used as they are potentially dangerous and can cause choking and suffocation.”
Those who are exempt from wearing face coverings in shops and on public transport include:
- Children under the age of 11 (or under the age of 5 in Scotland)
- People who have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering.
- People for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause severe distress.
- People travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
- People travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm.
Why bother wearing a face cover?
The whole point of face coverings is to protect the people around you, in case you have coronavirus but aren’t showing any symptoms (also known as being asymptomatic).
This is because face coverings can help keep most of the droplets you expel from your nose and mouth under wraps. Therefore if everyone wears a face cover, it means there are fewer droplets being expelled into the air in indoor spaces, meaning fewer droplets for people to breathe in and a lower overall risk of catching Covid-19.
Multiple health experts have suggested wearing face masks and coverings is key to preventing a second wave in the UK – and studies suggest this too.
A study from the US used a statistical method and calculated that more than 66,000 infections were prevented by the wearing of face masks in little over a month in New York City. Another study found countries where mask-wearing is the norm and has been supported by government policy have had lower death rates from the virus.
Still wondering why you’d bother if the science says it’s not 100% effective? Professor Peter Chin-Hong, an expert in infectious diseases from the University of California, San Francisco, puts it quite simply: “The concept is risk reduction rather than absolute prevention. You don’t throw up your hands if you think a mask is not 100% effective. That’s silly. Nobody’s taking a cholesterol medicine because they’re going to prevent a heart attack 100% of the time, but you’re reducing your risk substantially.”
If everyone wore a face covering it would also encourage more people to feel safe when out and about, which could in turn have a positive impact on the economy.
Can wearing a face cover protect the wearer, too?
While most of the focus is on protecting those around you (rightly so) there’s also some evidence to suggest face coverings do offer a protective effect – of sorts – to the wearer.
An analysis, conducted on behalf of the Royal Society and British Academy by researchers from the University of Oxford, looked at existing studies that have compared the protection of the wearer who wore a cloth mask compared to those who didn’t wear a mask.
Across four studies that looked at wearing cloth face masks versus not wearing masks at all, wearing a cotton mask was associated with a 54% lower risk of infection compared to the no-mask group. “It is not 100% protective but does reduce your odds,” said lead author Professor Melinda Mills, from the University of Oxford. In short, it’s better than nothing.
Researcher Jeremy Howard wrote in a separate report that there’s plenty of evidence that DIY masks are useful at protecting the wearer. But effective protection depends on three “critical” things, he said. Firstly, material: does the mask filter particles of the appropriate sizes? Secondly, fit: could particles squeeze in through the gaps of your mask? And lastly, sanitation: can you clean and re-use the mask?
How to put on and take off a mask
When wearing a face covering you should:
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting it on
- avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
- avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
- change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
When removing a face covering:
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
- only handle the straps, ties or clips
- do not share with someone else to use
- if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a waste bin and do not recycle
- if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
- wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed.
How is best to clean my face covering?
If you’re buying up disposable surgical masks, the top line is: you can’t clean it. This is because they’re made from a material that degrades pretty quickly. Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert and Professor in Medicine at University of East Anglia, previously told HuffPost UK they’re “essentially made out of paper”.
Some people have been trying different approaches – including disinfecting them to try and reuse them – but he stressed that their make-up is quite complex. In the centre of the masks is a material that’s better at trapping viruses, he explained, but if that gets wet, damaged or displaced during the washing process, the mask becomes “useless”. It’s important to remember your breath alone on the mask will be enough to slowly disintegrate it. A general rule of thumb: they should be replaced (and binned) after three hours, said Prof Hunter.
With cloth face coverings, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advises people to wash with soap or detergent “at least once a day”. It’s wise to check the washing instructions your mask came with if you bought it from a shop, but ultimately people should aim to wash them at 60 degrees Celsius and use detergent (which basically dismantles the virus). “It can go in with other laundry,” says the UK government’s advice page on face coverings.
You can dry your cloth mask by popping it in the tumble dryer if you have one, or laying it flat somewhere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US recommend placing the cloth face covering in direct sunlight to dry. A study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases found that 90% of coronavirus particles deactivated within 10 minutes when exposed to ultraviolet light from the midday sun.
Store the face covering in a clean, plastic, resealable bag so it’s fresh and ready for when you next need it.
The downsides of face covers
Comfort, or lack of it, is often cited as one of the key reasons people don’t wear face coverings or masks, in addition to fears over looking silly. But it’s important to remember we’re all in the same boat – and we’re wearing them for a crucial reason: to protect other people. The death rate of sales and retail assistants is 75% higher among men, and 60% higher among women than in the general population. Wearing masks in shops helps keep shopkeepers safe, likewise wearing them on public transport helps keep drivers and fellow members of the public safe.
There’s a risk that improper removal of face masks, handling of a contaminated face mask, or an increased tendency to touch the face while wearing a face mask might increase the risk of transmission – if you’re wearing one, the bottom line is: try not to touch your face.
There are worries people will fall into a false sense of security when wearing one. You should think of them as part of a four-pronged approach in addition to physical distancing, hand washing and sanitising regularly, and catching coughs and sneezes in tissues before binning them.
Another important thing to note is that face covers are not an alternative to self-isolating. If you get symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate for seven days and get a test. Unless your test shows a negative result, you must not go out during this time, even with a face covering.
How can I look after my skin while wearing a face covering?
One consequence of wearing a face covering, especially in the warmer weather, is that some of them can irritate the skin. Dermatologists suggest cloth face coverings are less likely to cause skin problems compared to the PPE (personal protective equipment) used by healthcare workers.
That said, the general advice is to make sure your skin is well hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day and applying a layer of moisturiser, ideally water-based, at least 30 minutes before putting the mask on. When you’re not in an indoor space surrounded by strangers, take your mask off to give your skin a breather.