Ought To I Be Wearing A Face Covering In The Course Of The COVID-19
Coronavirus COVID-19 spreads through droplets that are expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can be inhaled by other individuals or land on surfaces that other individuals may contact and then ingest by touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
The way COVID-19 spreads has led to strict guidelines on medical masks being worn in hospital and care environments to stop the virus spreading and being passed on to healthcare professionals.
However guidance on whether or not face coverings must be worn by the overall population as well seems less clear with guidance varying in numerous international locations across the world.
Who's being advised to wear face coverings?
In England, Scotland and Northern Eire, individuals are being advised to consider wearing face coverings* in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is more tough, eg on public transport and in shops. Individuals in Wales are usually not advised to wear face coverings, although they can select to wear one in the event that they wish.
In all countries within the UK, face coverings in public areas are a personal selection and should not compulsory.
*Face coverings usually are not the same as medical or surgical masks. Face coverings cover the nose and mouth and are made of breathable materials, such as cotton.
The benefits of face coverings
The evidence on using face coverings is limited, however they could be of some benefit when worn in enclosed public places the place it's more tough to follow social distancing rules.
The European Centre for Illness Prevention and Management(link is exterior) (ECDC) has said that using face coverings in public places might reduce the spread of infection in the neighborhood when worn by people who might not realise they’re infected. This is why some countries are encouraging individuals to wear them in public places.
So face coverings do not protect you; they protect others it's possible you'll come into contact with, if you have the virus and don't realise it yet.
The risks of wearing face coverings
Using face coverings by most people more widely locally could carry extra risks.
If everyone wears them there's concern it might create a false sense of security leading folks to neglect different social distancing measures – like regular handwashing and keeping at the least meters away from others.
As well as this, face coverings need to be used safely so as to be effective. If used incorrectly there’s a risk of self-contamination. Anyone wearing a face covering should understand methods to wear, remove and wash them within the appropriate way.
Finally, there may be also the risk of a scarcity of medical masks for health professionals if everyone is advised to wear a face covering.
For those who do decide to wear a face covering, the UK government has really useful that folks use their own face coverings moderately than medical masks. This is to stop any shortages of medical masks for the health and social care professionals who want them most.
How can I make my own face covering?
You can use current objects of clothing like bandanas or scarves. Alternatively, some individuals are making their own using varied textiles like cotton fabric.
The UK authorities has issued guidance on how one can make and wear your own face covering(link is external). Alternatively, there are various patterns and tutorials available at no cost online (like this one(link is exterior)).
If you're making your own face covering, consider the number of layers, the breathability of the fabric, its water repellence qualities, and the form and fit of the mask.
Keep up with different social distancing measures
It’s important to remember that face coverings aren’t a replacement for different social distancing measures.
Preventative measures like physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding touch your face, nostril, eyes and mouth should continue to be adopted too. These are only at reducing the spread of COVID-19.