Four Common Mask-wearing Issues and How to Prevent Them
Numerous studies and research have shown that wearing masks is effective in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, one should keep in mind that this practice works best alongside other healthy and safe measures such as frequent washing of hands, physical distancing of at least 6 ft. from those outside one’s social bubble, and avoidance of large gatherings.
When we follow these recommendations by health officials, we reap the collective benefit of keeping the virus under control, which is now especially important in Canada as the cold weather sets in and the cases are increasing, with the nationwide count surpassing 300k. While majority of us do realize the importance of wearing masks, there are still some who believe to the contrary. If there is still any doubt, the recent article from the New York Times that show an augmented reality depiction of how masks, no matter what the material or type, can prevent the spread of particles associated with the virus.
Those of us who already embraced wearing masks whenever we are out in public sometimes encounter problems though. Fortunately, there are solutions to these common issues, so let us look below:
Fogging up of glasses
If you wear specs, then you probably experience your pair fogging up when you wear a mask, especially as the temperatures have started to drop. Fret not as solutions are on their way! First tip is to use a mask that has a nose bridge on it to make it fit better on you. A well-fitting mask means there are lesser chances for moisture to escape (making it more efficient in fighting the virus), plus prevents your breath from hitting your glasses. Another way is to put your glasses over your mask if it is one of the larger ones. Last but not the least, you can try wiping your specs with a pinch-size amount of dishwashing liquid.
Getting mask breath
Wearing a mask for long periods can sometimes lead to bad breath, but don’t worry, this is a common problem as well. The trick to prevent this? Make sure you are hydrated by drinking ample amounts of water. It also helps to cut down on caffeinated drinks, and yes, that means you better steer clear of those bottles of pop in your fridge. If you feel like a mouth rinse can help, make sure to use a non-alcohol-based one. And of course, keep to a healthy dental hygiene.
Now that we use face coverings, it is likely for those with sensitive skin to develop skin irritation like redness or facial spots. This occurs when the masks being used are not washed frequently as they should be. If you experience this with your cloth masks, be sure to wash them regularly. If you still feel skin irritation after wearing them for a few hours, switch to disposable masks but change as often as needed. If you still want to stick with cloth masks, don’t rely on merely one for the day. Pack a few extra cloth masks so you can change them after two or three hours.
Lack of non-verbal cues
Having half of your face covered up means that what you’re saying may not be coming across as effectively as expected. For example, you might be cracking a joke, but the recipient may take it to mean that you’re serious because they can’t see your smile, and misunderstanding happens. The solution to this may take a bit of time to get used to, but it’s all about being conscious of your tone and pattern of speech to ensure your message is loud and clear. It also helps to utilize more body language and gestures to get your point across. And don’t forget the power of eye contact!
Wearing masks is now a part of our daily lives, and it looks to be that way for quite a while—just visit any shop and you’ll see they’re all selling cloth masks now because of high demand. However, this safety measure does come with challenges, but they can be resolved as you have read above.