Health and Fitness

PSA: This Is How You Properly Remove A Face Mask

As the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread, proper hygiene practices is a must.
IMAGE FLICKR/Casey Hugelfink
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2019n-CoV, more commonly known as Wuhan coronavirus, continues to spread around the globe as scientists rush to find the cure and create a vaccine for the illness that has killed 106 people so far in China.

The countries with confirmed cases of 2019n-CoV are the following: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Macau, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, U.S., Canada, Australia, and France. There are currently 24 cases under investigation for suspected cases of 2019n-CoV in the Philippines, but there is currently no confirmation from the Department of Health.

As such, the public is highly encouraged to practice precautionary health measures such as using face masks and regularly washing their hands. But this isn’t enough—civilians must know the proper method of these practices, particularly when it comes to face masks.

According to Seto Wing Hong of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, multiple studies have been done to prove the effectivity of face masks as infection control instruments. But face masks only work if you know how to use them.  

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How to Properly Put On a Face Mask

Wear the face mask with the blue color on the outside because the blue side is waterproof, explained Hong to Bloomberg. The white side should be on the inside as it’s absorbent. “So if I cough, it absorbs it,” said Hong.

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You should then squeeze the metal wire at the top of the mask so it fits tightly against your face, then pull the bottom part so it covers your chin. This will protect you from microbes entering your nose and mouth.

How to Properly Remove a Face Mask

But it’s removal that’s the key. If you remove a face mask improperly, it will render its protection useless as you might touch the germs and particles you’re trying to protect yourself from.

According to Hong, you have to remove your mask without actually touching the mask’s surface by touching only the straps on either side of the mask to remove it from your face.

“When you wear a mask, you should consider it dirty,” explained Hong. “Then when you remove it, you don’t touch it. Remote it, don’t touch it, and drop it.”

After, you must immediately perform proper hand cleaning so as to not spread potential bacteria. Use rubbing alcohol with at least 70 percent isopropyl for disinfecting or wash your hands and arms with soap for at least 30 seconds.

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These are simple but golden tips to protect you from viruses as the hunt for a 2019n-CoV vaccine continues.

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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