Face Masks and COVID-19: Ending the Controversy

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Face masks

Dra. Ana Luisa Mendizábal Méndez.

A few months ago, when the coronavirus epidemic began, several health organizations worldwide emphasized that the use of face masks was not necessary.

That it was only necessary for people:

  • already infected
  • who were already infected, in contact with the sick in their homes
  • those who had coughs and sneezes
  • health personnel.

Yesterday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its recommendations regarding the use of face masks.

It recognizes that due to evidence that people without symptoms can transmit the virus to others, it suggests the use of cloth masks in public places where it is difficult to maintain social distance, such as transportation or supermarkets.

It is important to take into account that the use of face masks does not replace other preventive measures such as social distancing, frequent and adequate hand washing, and keeping a healthy distance.

Social distancing, i.e., staying at home, remains the most relevant preventive measure.

On the other hand, we must also remember that surgical mouth and nose coverings  are scarce and absolutely necessary items for healthcare personnel. Therefore, we invite you to purchase fabric face masks or make your own in the simplest way as shown in this video. It is recommended that the material is cotton.

However, cloth masks should not be placed on children under 2 years old, people with respiratory difficulty, or unconscious, disabled, or unable to remove them without help.”

Another important point is the way in which face masks are used. The following is recommended:

  • Wash hands with water or alcohol gel.
  • Check the mask for defects.
  • Place the tapes behind the head or ears, depending on the model, and completely cover the mouth and nose. It should be noted that both the mouth and nose must remain covered at all times; otherwise, the effectiveness of this measure is lost.
  • Avoid touching the mask after putting it on.
  • Do not touch the face or eyes after putting on the mask.
  • To remove it, use the tapes; never touch the fabric.

This video shows the correct placement of the mask: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlAyud8sJYs .

It is recommended to change the mask whenever it becomes wet and at least daily. After removing the mask, you should wash your hands immediately and put it in a special place if you are not going to wash it immediately (it can be in a resealable bag that can be disposed of later). You can wash the mouth cover with soap and water and then put it in the dryer or dry it in the sun

You can wash the mouth cover with soap and water and then put it in the dryer or dry it in the sun.

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