You might think after this many months of the COVID-19 pandemic that we would all be experts when it comes to wearing a face mask, but a new study reveals a slew of possible mistakes you might unknowingly be making which could be putting yourself and others in possible danger.
HuffPo reports the findings of a study of 1000 people about their use and care of their masks and calls some findings "alarming." The top mask-wearing mistakes people are making without even realizing it include:
Not washing hands before and after wearing a mask - Health experts stress to wash before and after using a mask.
Not cleaning your face after wearing a mask - Not washing your face can lead to "maskne," and luckily not the transmission of the virus.
Sharing a mask - Nearly 25 percent of people in the study revealed they have shared their mask -- it is best to think of a mask in the same way you do your toothbrush or underwear, and remember that sharing can lead to becoming infected with the virus.
Wearing a disposable mask for too long -- A disposable mask should only be used for a maximum of 1 day and then discarded.
Washing and wearing a disposable mask - Washing (which breaks down the masks' fibers) and wearing a disposable mask makes it much less effective and could potentially lead to exposure to the virus.
Not washing a reusable mask - The CDC states reusable masks should be washed after every use, but over 10 percent of people in the study admitted to going for up to 2 weeks without washing their reusable masks.
Not covering your nose with your mask - Infectious disease expert Dr. Mark Fischer tells HuffPo, “A lot of people will wear their masks pulled down, exposing either their nose or their entire face. This completely takes away the benefits of wearing a mask. It must be secure, covering your mouth and nose securely at all times for it to be effectively used to protect you, and others around you, from viral transmission.”
Not properly storing your masks - Used masks should be kept away from other items, and once used should be placed in a plastic bag until they are washed and cleaned masks should be kept in a dry, breathable bag until used.