A How To for Face Masks
During the Spring fashion shows late last year, we never would have thought that the season’s must-have accessory was going to be a face mask. Then 2020 happened, and suddenly we’re taking our sartorial cues from our government.
Jokes aside, with the current state of the world, and the gradual reopening of cities, provinces and countries, a mask is now a necessity. Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, now recommends wearing a mask during any public outing. This is especially important in places where it can be hard to practice social distancing, like the grocery store or in a pharmacy. It’s important to remember your mask in places like these because, as opposed to open-air spaces where the virus can easily be filtered out, the droplets are more likely to remain contained in a small space, therefore making it easier to ingest, making you a virus carrier.
Due to the shortages of medical masks, we recommend leaving those to the doctors and nurses, and opt instead for fabric masks. Not only are fabric masks easier to come by, they are more eco-friendly, helping you to avoid creating unnecessary waste. Natural fibers are best because they are breathable. If you’re unsure of what to look for, the minimum you need is a two-layer cotton or other natural fiber masks - think silk or linen.
A mask is only as effective as you make it, so there are some very important things to keep in mind when putting on your mask:
- Always wash your hands before putting on your mask.
- To put on, or remove your mask, you should only touch the bands that go around your ears, and never manipulate your mask by the exterior part. Doing this ensures that there is as little bacteria transfer as possible; if you touch the front part of your mask then touch doorknobs or handles, or any heavily manipulated surface, you will transfer any bacteria to those surfaces - or even onto your face if you’re not careful.
- Ensure that your mask fits snugly around your face: it should cover your nose and mouth and go over your chin.
- Once your mask is on, it should stay on for the duration of your outing. Don’t touch it until it’s time to remove it.
- A mask shouldn’t be worn for longer than four hours but should be changed if it gets too damp. You should change your mask after a meal. Because of this, everyone should have two or three reusable masks.
- When removing your mask, be sure to only touch the elastic part to avoid germ transfer - same as when you put it on.
- Once it’s removed it should be washed immediately in hot water to be disinfected. Reusable masks should be placed in a paper bag prior to washing.
Please also remember that a mask should never be placed on a child under the age of 2, or on any person that has difficulty breathing.
Care for your mask doesn’t end once you take it off. If you have a disposable mask, you must put it in the garbage as soon as you’re finished with it. If you’re using a reusable mask, you must ensure to wash for at least 20 minutes in hot water to remove any germs and sanitize it. Whether you prefer reusable or disposable masks, it’s recommended to have a few masks on hand so you always have one at the ready.
The Lancet recently published a study showing the importance of wearing a mask to diminish virus transmission. They found that face mask use could result in a large reduction in the risk of infection. We have also seen success in slowing the spread of the virus in countries that require face masks early on. While you may have heard that wearing a mask doesn’t protect you, that should not be a deterrent. If it protects those around you, that is reason enough to wear it. In the end, my mask helps you, and your mask helps me.
We do know that a lot of people carrying the virus may be presymptomatic or even asymptomatic, so if the use of masks becomes more common and widespread, we could see a decline in the number of new cases. Masks, however, are not a silver bullet solution. Everyone must continue washing their hands and, most importantly, continue social distancing.
When shopping for your mask be sure to support local sellers. With the economy as it is, it’s important to support our homegrown businesses. Try your best to order masks from sites and sellers that you trust so you can be sure that what you receive will, in fact, protect you from Covid-19.
We encourage you to shop our collection of cotton and linen face masks. They are locally made, have a very tight weave lining, which is recommended for masks as they aid in preventing the transmission of viral droplets. Our masks are double layers with a cotton or linen outer and have a cotton-blend lining, making it breathable and easy to keep on.