You may be asking yourself, should I wear a mask? This question is commonly asked now that we’ve been dealing with the pandemic for a few years and people have been vaccinated. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of wearing a mask for the safety of yourself and those around you.
Benefits Of Wearing A Mask
Reduce viral transmissions like COVID-19. Wearing masks are proven to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the transmission of droplets and some aerosols from someone who is sick with the virus.
Stop the spread of colds and illnesses during flu season. Again, similar to reducing the spread of COVID-19, masks also help reduce the spread of colds. Masks should be worn in high-traffic areas not only to protect you from COVID-19 but during periods of increased illness like the flu season.
Wearing a mask is good hygiene practice in general. Pre-pandemic, medical professionals like dentists, surgeons, and doctors all wore masks to protect themselves and others from contracting illnesses. Also, in some cultures, individuals commonly wear masks when they aren’t feeling well or have cold symptoms. This isn’t a new concept for the general public depending on where you live, it’s just many people aren’t quite used to it yet.
Believe it or not, masks can help with allergies! Whether you’re visiting a friend that has a cat you're allergic to, or you get seasonal allergies, masks are a great way to reduce your symptoms. A mask can act as a barrier for the nose and stop allergens from reaching you. Just be sure to change out your mask as frequently as you see fit.
Are You A Person Of High Risk?
If you’re an immunocompromised individual or live with someone who has a higher risk of contracting illnesses, wearing a mask might be a good idea. If you or someone you live with have any of the following medical conditions, it’s strongly recommended to wear a mask to protect from severe illnesses like COVID-19.
Chronic kidney, lung, or liver disease
Dementia or other neurological conditions
Are You Vaccinated?
When it comes to COVID-19, vaccinated people may still be able to spread the virus and its variants even if they don’t feel ill themselves. The vaccine helps reduce symptoms but does not make you immune from catching it. It’s still helpful to wear a mask, especially if you’re indoors, have poor ventilation, or live in a community with a high rate of infection.
Wearing A Mask Properly
Wearing a mask is beneficial for your safety and the safety of those around you only if worn properly. Otherwise, all the benefits of wearing a mask go out the window! Here are a few things to keep in mind when wearing masks.
Choose a mask that is clean, dry, and damage-free.
To be completely effective, a mask should be worn over the mouth, nose, and chin. Be sure the improve the fit of your mask by adjusting the nosepiece and ear loops.
Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before and after touching or removing your mask. Use the ties or elastic bands when putting on or removing your mask.
Store your mask in a clean paper or cloth bag if you plan on wearing it again.