The COVID-19 pandemic has had us all in a frenzy since the beginning of 2020. In this scenario, one can never be too safe or too cautious. While we make careful attempts to resume work and life after long-standing lockdowns, it has become all the more necessary to always use a face mask or a face shield at all times.
For those of us who live with elderly family members and family members with co-morbidities, it is, in fact, advisable to keep our masks on even inside the house. One of the main benefits of wearing a mask is that it keeps us safe from contracting the COVID-19 virus; secondly, it protects other people around us from the COVID-19 virus, just in case we’re asymptomatic carriers.
It is now well-known that a good mask such as an N95 mask acts as a reliable barrier between contaminants and our oral and nasal cavities.
Does wearing a face mask prevent COVID-19?
There’s no sure way to know whether wearing a good quality face mask prevents COVID-19 in its entirety. However, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that starts off with symptoms very similar to the common flu and can exacerbate into fatal pneumonia-like states, later leading to mortality. This high mortality rate makes it necessary to resort to every measure possible to prevent the contraction of the coronavirus.
What a good quality face mask does is, it stops many oral and nasal secretions from reaching the people we’re interacting with. It also stops many respiratory secretions of others from reaching us. Even though this is not equivalent to complete insulation from the virus, it does reduce the virus load that we may be exposed to, in one go.
Should you wear a COVID-19 face mask if you have no symptoms?
The coronavirus can lie dormant in our bodies for several days before we show symptoms of COVID-19. In many cases, if one’s immune system is fairly strong, coronavirus may make a comfortable habitat within that body without being able to affect the person at all. Such a person carries the virus within the body while going about his life unaffected; better known as an asymptomatic carrier. Asymptomatic carriers usually do not know that they are carrying the coronavirus, because there are no symptoms to suggest this.
Even if you have no symptoms of COVID-19, you could still be an asymptomatic carrier. You could put the lives of people around you at immense risk if you do not wear a face mask and follow other precautionary measures.
Are face masks comfortable and can they be reused?
Face masks may not feel very comfortable, to begin with, since a lot of us are not used to wearing them. However, the times demand that we place our well being and the well being of society above personal comfort. There are alternatives for N95 masks that are more comfortable to use and less obtrusive. Many people are choosing to wear surgical masks and disposable single-use masks which are made of slightly more breathability materials.
However, with such masks, there is always an environmental concern. We’re seeing increasing cases of animals being found with disposed masks in their mouths and around them. These animals unknowingly carry infections and virus back into society by scavenging masks out of disposal sites. An environmental load of these disposable masks is also quite high.
An alternative solution to using disposable, suffocative masks is to opt for reusable, fabric masks that are renewable and have negligible or no environmental repercussions.
The correct way to use a face mask during a COVID-19 pandemic:
Do not touch the mask while you're wearing it.
In a mask with ear loops, handle the mask from the ear loops and place each loop over the respective ear.
In a mask with tie-up strings, handle the mask using the top strings; secure the mask in place by tying the top strings near the crown of your head. Follow this up by tying the bottom strings at the nape of your neck.
In a mask with dual elastic bands, one must pull the bottom band over the head and ensure that it rests at the nape; then pull the top band over the head so that it rests at the crown.
Single-use masks must be replaced as soon as they have been used once. If a mask becomes damp, replace it with a new one.
A face mask must always be removed from behind; the front of the mask must not be touched. A single-use mask must be discarded safely, immediately and hands must be washed and sanitized upon removal of a mask.
What kind of COVID-19 face masks are available at Crow?
In keeping with this, Crow designs and sells reusable, environment-friendly face masks made out of breathable fabric, to help you feel safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 face masks available at Crow protect your respiratory channel from dust particles, many bacteria, various microorganisms, and other pollutants.
Reusable face masks from Crow are deliberately designed to provide insulation from several airborne particles, while also being easy on the environment.
These multiple-use face masks are stitched in-house in our stringently sanitized manufacturing unit with utmost attention to hygiene. The local artisans who make face masks at Crow are temperature-tested several times a day. They wear face masks and safety gloves throughout the day. Our artisans’ tools and hands are sanitized using an alcohol-based sanitizer every few hours, too.
How to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
WHO provides a list of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and to keep ourselves safe from the virus. We recommend reading this list carefully and following it to the tee.
When wearing a COVID-19 face mask, it is of utmost importance to wear it correctly. Your face mask must cover your nose at least halfway up to the bridge. Your face mask should completely cover your nostrils and your mouth. The nose or mouth mustn’t peek from the sides, top or bottom. Your mask must be the right fit, so it doesn’t keep slipping. If you have a mask that is slightly loose, make sure you make knots on each side to ensure it fits you correctly. When using a reusable face mask, it is essential that you wash your face mask every single day. For this reason, it makes sense to purchase at least 3 face masks per person.
Some other safety measures that are recommended by doctors around the globe are as follows:
- Individuals must wash their hands frequently with a strong hand wash.
- Each hand wash must last at least twenty seconds.
- Soap should be dispensed from a soap dispenser.
- Individuals must use an alcohol-based sanitizer frequently; especially before meals and when outside.
- Alcohol-based sanitizers must be used when entering one's home.
- Door knobs, handles and other frequently touched objects such as TV and AC remotes, windows, and furniture must be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis.
- Individuals must refrain from fidgeting with the face and touching the face unnecessarily.
- Large gatherings should strictly be avoided and social distancing must be maintained even in small groups.
- Floors of offices and homes must be cleaned with a bleach-based cleanser at least once a day.
- Individuals must use face masks as often as possible.
- If symptoms appear, one must immediately inform a trusted medical practitioner, self-quarantine, and make sure uninfected individuals maintain a safe distance.
Buy breathable reusable face masks on Crow:
At Crow, we sell face masks on our official website. These masks are made out of breathable, washable fabric that is easy on the environment and looks good when worn. Our reusable COVID-19 face masks are made of organic cotton, fabric, and jamdani and come in earthy and pastel tones to go with a variety of outfits.
In spite of the coronavirus pandemic, we strongly feel that pretty prints, organic textiles, and soothing colours should always remain an integral part of our wardrobes. Apart from face masks in plain colours and embroidered face masks, we also have a range of protective masks with ajrakh, Jaipuri, and other traditional block prints.