Wearing a disposable surgical mask is the most recommended mask to protect the general public against COVID-19 transmission. However, surgical masks have a little problem when it comes to leakage. Reducing the risk of leakage is very important to ensure that you and the people around you are well protected from the respiratory droplets that may come in and out of your surgical mask. Apart from making sure that the mask’s nose wire is well fitted to your nose bridge, here are some of the tricks to enhance the protection of your simple surgical mask:
#1 Top it with a Cloth Mask
Using an extra layer of fabric will increase the level of protection since fabrics can help limit the spread of aerosols. A great combination of fabrics would be tightly woven cotton, silk, chiffon, or flannel. Other fabrics, such as the one used for Bodyvine cloth mask and hand shield, are treated with HeiQ Viroblock technology which gives the capability to kill germs and viruses including Sars-CoV-2 in 30 minutes.
Also, fabric masks give you a better fitting since most fabric masks have tightly closed edges that should push your surgical mask’s edges too.
#2 Tuck your Mask
A lot of people criss-cross their mask because it feels tighter. However, it creates a big gap along your cheeks. A better way to tighten your mask without those unwanted gaps is to:
- First, knot the earloops leaving the edges of your mask joint together. Do this for both earloops.
- Then, fold and tuck the unneeded material under the edges.
#3 Tighten it with a String
Here’s another trick you can do if you don’t feel comfortable breathing with a cloth mask over your surgical mask or if the knots on your masks are too tight: tie a string or a shoelace to each earloop. Use this string so whenever you want to tighten your mask, you can just tie the extended strings at the back of your head.
This technique can also help reduce the stress the earloops give your ears.
Remember that you are reading this to get tips on how to get better protection and not spread the virus. Even if your mask fits snugly or has an extra layer of protection, doing the things listed below can hinder your mask from working at its best.
Don’t contaminate your hands
Do not touch the outside of your mask. The germs it has filtered from the outside will be transferred to your hands hence, causing it to be transferred to the things you will touch – like your face and eyes.
Wash your hands immediately if you accidentally touched your mask, before wearing it, and after disposing of it.
Don’t expose your nose and leave the mask under your chin
This will let you breathe the particles that are stuck in the outside layer since the nose wholes are just above the mask.
Don’t move your mask away from your mouth when speaking to someone
Do not underestimate simple gaps as they easily cause you to breathe in and out unprotected.