Strong evidence suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily airborne, what does this mean, and can we change the way we protect ourselves?
Scientists and medical health practitioners have been highlighting the need to wear masks to contain the spread of coronavirus ever since the pandemic began.
A large population does not show symptoms. The asymptomatic people can continue to spread the infection at home, at a faster pace. Dr. Datar, Medical director of Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd stress that even when asymptomatic people are talking, they can spread the infection. That is why we have been seeing entire families, in this wave, turning positive, even when most of them have stayed indoors. So it’s not only imperative to wear a mask outdoors but indoors too.
While there have been many cases of people taking this advice for granted and not wearing masks properly (by wearing it below their nose and so on), the latest research has established that wearing two tightly-fitted face masks can nearly double the protection against the virus. A mask with layers offers better protection, as it creates a stronger barrier for respiratory droplets.
Ziqitza Rajasthan and ZHL Rajasthan say as Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly across the country, it is becoming more and more essential to adopt the most effective safety practices to avoid getting infected. When a person wears one mask on top of another, it is termed double masking. The outer mask can apply gentle pressure on the edges of the inner mask and creates a better seal. Since the virus spread through respiratory droplets, two layers can help to increase filtration and can provide you with better protection.
How to wear double masks properly?
According to multiple studies conducted by the US CDC, double masks can prove to be very effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, this is only applicable when you wear the double mask properly.
There are three ways of wearing double masks properly.
1. Using a surgical mask with a cloth mask
Cloth masks alone are not recommended, but pairing them with a surgical mask drastically increases the effectiveness. Doing this is very simple, too. First, wear the surgical mask and then the cloth mask on top of it.CDC suggests that the cloth mask should push the edges of the surgical mask against your face. In simple words, the cloth mask should offer a tight, snug fit.
- Pick a mask with nose wires
Another important aspect to consider while choosing a face mask is that it should have a nose wire. Ziqitza Limited adds by saying good quality surgical masks come with an embedded nose wire on one side. When you wear the mask, push the nose wire so it closes any gaps that may be present. Some other masks come with a metal wire, which offers an even more snug fit.
- Knotting the ear loops of a 3-ply surgical mask
Knot the ear loops of a 3-ply face mask where they join the edge of the mask and then Fold and tuck the unneeded material under the edges
Ziqitza Healthcare suggests avoiding combinations of the following Masks:
- Combining two surgical masks as they are not designed to fit tightly.
- Combining KN95 and any other type of mask
- Combining an N95 mask with any other mask.
Before stepping out while wearing 2 masks check for things like:
- Fit: Make sure that the outer mask helps press the inner mask close to your face, forming a seal. To do this, cup your hands over your mask and feel for air escaping from the edges as you breathe.
- Breathing: While breathing may require a little extra effort when you’re double masking, it shouldn’t make breathing difficult.
- Vision: Make sure that your double mask doesn’t block your vision.
- Evaluate the situation: You can maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others outside your household; a single mask can give good protection. However, a double mask can be more beneficial.