Face Masks – What’s best for you?

Face masks are now mandatory on public transport in Ireland. Covid-19 has shocked the world and changed the way we do things here in Ireland and abroad.

The Novel Coronavirus was identified in December 2019 in China. The virus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2) and the disease that it causes is called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19)

There are many ways we can catch this virus due to its novel behaviour. We are all aware of sneezing, spitting, coughing and touching items can spread the virus, however Forbes.com (in their blog June 30) report that experts now say that the virus is transmitted through the air and this may actually be the dominate route of spread. It should be noted that the World Health Organisation has neither confirmed or denied this but have noted they are still investigating the legitimacy of an airborne virus.

With this in mind – it is particularly important to wear a mask as much as possible when outside your home.

What we do know without any doubt is that face masks will reduce the spread and washing hands or use of hand sanitizer will kill the virus.

To order hand sanitizer made in Ireland click HERE

As of July 27th 2020 Ireland has 25, 881 cases in which 23, 364 have recovered and 1, 764 patients have died. In the world we have now reached 16.1M cases 9.29M have recovered and 645K deaths have been recorded.

This virus is not going away anytime soon. We must get on with our lives and approach the new norms of social distancing, face masks and washing hands frequently as a part of our every day routine.

As of 27th of July 2020 the HSE confirmed that it is now law to wear face covering when using public transport.

It is also recommended to use face coverings in retail spaces, and this will come into law shortly. You have probably already seen many shops with similar signs to the one below right? That's because at some point in the near future it will be against the law not to wear a mask in a shop.

Signs to wear face masks in shops

There are exceptions to wearing Face masks. Some which include:

  1. People who can not breath properly
  2. People with special needs that get distressed with masks on
  3. Children under 13 – NOT because they can’t spread the virus but due to the lack of understanding.

For more details on who is exempted click on the HSE link at the end of this article.

Does it matter what type of masks to wear?

YES!!!

Different types of masks offer different levels of protection. According to the Guardian.com Surgical grade N95 respirator masks offer the highest level of protection against Covid-19. The next best option is surgical grade masks.

Does every business sell surgical grade masks?

NO!!

Pharmacy’s and health professionals ‘should’ purchase from vetted suppliers of surgical grade masks, however, this is not always the case. A number of shops and particularly cheap shops will have masks that look surgical grade but they are NOT..

Drinagh Pharmacy sell vetted surgical grade face masks and all our products are compliant with Pharmacy code of practice – you can purchase disposable surgical masks by clicking HERE

How do I wear a surgical mask?

So how do you wear surgical face masks?

The first thing to remember is they are disposable and should only be worn for a short period. As soon as the mask becomes damp it is less effective. The best idea would be to have them in your bag or car and to put them on when entering a shop or public transport or if your in an environment with lots of people around, like a busy park or a busy walkway etc.

The GREEN side goes on the outside and the WHITE side is touching your face.

You don’t touch the actual mask, just the elastic to stick them behind your ears and then leave it!

When you have finished using your disposal mask, take it off and bin it! Most shops will have a bin at there shop front door now.

DON’T:

1. Wear your mask under your chin then pull it up when your talking to people, pull it down and pull it up and so on.

2. Don’t have your mask in your pocket unprotected and just wear it when your legally obliged to have a face covering on

3. There is really no need to wear a face mask when you’re in a car with no passengers or when you’re in your own home, garden.

NOTE: Surgical face masks were predominantly for health care workers due to shortage of supply. At present there isn’t – however, if this changes, the public is encouraged to use face cloths instead as health care workers will need preference to surgical grade masks.

How do you wear a face cloth?

A cloth face covering should cover the nose and go under the chin:

1. It should fit snuggly against the side of the face and be comfortable

2. It should be secured with ties or ear loops

3. Include 2 layers of fabric

4. Allow for breathing without restriction

How to care for a reusable face covering

Wash daily in a got wash over 60 degrees with detergent. Face coverings do NOT need to be sterilised just was in a machine or by hand like you would other hand washed items. Wash your hands before and after you wash your face cloth.

Sources:

HSE https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/face-masks-disposable-gloves.html#not-wear

Forbes.com

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/26/what-kind-of-face-mask-is-best-against-coronavirus

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