Tag Archives: wearing mask

Why You Should Wear A Face Mask: Myths Debunked

Hey guys, I’m back with another post. I’m sure you can tell what I’m going to be talking about from the title of the post. I overheard someone say that wearing a mask was a joke and that it was not protecting us from anything. I cannot tell you how annoyed I was. I live in the state of Georgia, and we just broke the record for the highest number of cases in a given day, and yet the governor of the state issued a mandate forbidding cities and counties to implement mask orders. When I heard this news, I was livid, which also prompted me to write this blog post. I am personally here to tell YOU should wear a mask.  The public health student in me had to do my research multiple times about the pros and cons of wearing a mask, so in this blog post, I will be sharing some myths and facts about wearing a mask so that we can all be safe.

According to the CDC, Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face-covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. There has been emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows that wearing cloth face coverings reduces the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

COVID-19 is spread mainly among people who are in close contact with one another, which is why using cloth face coverings is vital in settings where people are close to each other or where it is difficult to maintain social distancing (CDC, 2020).

Since this pandemic started, there’s been countless debates about whether or not we should wear a mask, and those debates has caused a lot of misinformation to spread. Let’s get into the meat of this blog post, and I hope you are able to learn something or see the importance of protecting ourselves and others.

Who Should Wear A Mask?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask while they are in public settings. If it’s one thing we should know by now is that asymptomatic individuals can spread the virus, so you must wear a mask and maintain your 6 feet distance. I know I said everyone, but per the CDC, some adjustments can be made, especially when wearing a mask may not be feasible.

These adjustments are for individuals who have a breathing problem, are deaf or hard of hearing, or those of you who rely on lipreading to communicate. I know we all have different jobs and sometimes wearing a mask may not be the most comfortable or it causes you to be even hotter, it is important to maintain social distance still and to wear a mask because it is crucial and is a key part in preventing the spread of the virus. Of course, you should still be washing your hands often and clean your surroundings with disinfectant wipes and sprays.

Who Should Not Wear A Mask?

When it comes to who should NOT wear a mask, it is mandated that children under two years old, people with breathing problems, and individuals who can’t remove the mask without assistance, such as those who are incapacitated or disabled.

Now that you know who should and shouldn’t wear a mask, let’s tackle some of the myths that have been going around the internet and debunked them with the truth.

Myth #1: Cloth masks don’t protect you.

Fact: Cloth face masks are effective. They create a barrier between your mouth and nose and those around you. This makes it more difficult for the droplets that spread coronavirus through coughs, sneezes, and talking to reach other people. Cloth masks keep you from unknowingly spreading the disease to others.

Myth #2:  Masks can cause carbon dioxide (CO2) build-up.

Fact: I have seen people say that carbon dioxide from exhaling can get trapped under the cloth and can make you sick. This is untrue. Masks that are appropriately fitted tend to have adequate airflow while you are covering your nose and mouth. This makes carbon dioxide being trapped under the mask impossible.

Myth #3: If I’m wearing a mask, I don’t need to practice social distancing.

Fact: We all need to play our part in trying to prevent the spread of this virus. By wearing a mask, this will help with slowing down the spread of the virus. We still need to practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and of course, self- isolate if you think you may have come in contact with someone who has the virus or if you tested positive for COVID-19.

Myth #4: The way you wear a mask is not important.

Fact: This is a big one, I have seen people out and about with a mask on their face, but for some reason, it’s not covering both mouth and nose, I’ve seen somewhere the mask was below the nose or not covering the mask. According to the CDC, a cloth face mask needs to have the following to be effective

Cover both your nose and mouth

 Fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face

Be secured with ties or ear loops

Have multiple layers of fabric

Allow for unrestricted breathing

Able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or shape changes

WHERE YOUR MASK PROPERLY!

Myth #5: If you’ve had coronavirus, you don’t need a mask.

Fact:  If you’ve had a coronavirus before or had an antibody test come up positive, that does not mean you don’t need to wear a mask.  Having had the virus does not mean you are immune to it. So, there is a possibility that you can catch the virus and spread it to others; this is why wearing a mask is important. Think about it, do you really need to be outside if it’s not essential? I certainly don’t think so.

Let me just say I know that at times wearing a mask can be uncomfortable and especially in this heat, which is why you should make an effort to stay home and only go outside if it is necessary. I advocate wearing a mask because I work in the healthcare field, I’m an essential worker, and because COVID- 19 is REAL. I’ll be honest with you, the other day it was 100 degrees outside, and I was craving a smoothie and a Jamaican patty. I parked my car, and the walk in the heat from my car to the smoothie shop and to the Jamaican restaurant almost took me out, IT WAS HOT.

I have been working in the heat daily for nearly two months. I’m talking about being donned in full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a gown, double masks, gloves, shield. Guys, I’m out here trying to do some good in the world, and having to wear all of that in the heat is not the most comfortable. I say this to say; I know having to wear a mask is not fancy or is not the most comfortable but please let’s normalize wearing a mask so that we can prevent and slow down the spread of this deadly disease and not put those we care about in harm’s way.

Cases are rising in several states, check out my post about to stay safe during a pandemic for some tips

Have you been taking wearing a mask seriously, or do you believe the myths?

How To Remain Safe During This Pandemic As States Reopen

Hey Guys! I know it’s been a while since my last blog post, I think my last blog post was the day of birthday back in May but I’m back and will do my best to post more consistently, I’m trying to grow as well as put more effort into my blog. As you know, I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Public Health, and it is my goal to bring more awareness about Public Health to the blog. I think it is time, for this is part of who I am and given the current climate of the world right now it is only right.

Now let’s get into this post…

As we all know by now, we are currently living through a pandemic. Never in my lifetime did I expect to witness this, let alone have family members who are and were affected by this virus, but here we are. I had this post in my draft for weeks but contemplated whether I should post it, but after what I’ve seen in the news and on social media recently, I felt this post was necessary.

Just in case any of you forgot what COVID19 is here is a brief overview:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. (WHO, 2020).

HOW IS CORONAVIRUS TRANSMITTED?

The virus is spread from person to person via respiratory droplets. This occurs when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You can get infected if you touch a surface or an object that has the virus on it, and then you touch your face, mouth, nose, and eyes—a person or object without sanitizing or washing his or her hands after contamination. You can get infected by not maintaining your six-foot distance from an individual with the virus.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?

These are some common symptoms of Coronavirus. In addition to these symptoms, it is important to know that some individuals can be asymptomatic, so keep this in mind. The most common symptoms are Runny nose, coughing, sore throat, fever, cold or Flu-Like Symptoms. Shortness of breath or Difficulty Breathing, chest pain or pressures, loss of speech, or movement are some of the more severe symptoms. 

At this point, we know that this Pandemic has put a hold on businesses and the economy as a whole. Everyone is mostly fighting for survival. However, here in the United States, some states reopened earlier than some. When this first happened, I was baffled as to why it was happening. I live in Georgia, and we were one of the few states that reopened early. Now the reason why I was confused and also worried about my state opening so soon is that we have NOT reached our peak believe it or not. As of June 25th, 2020, it is said that the projected peak for this virus in the state of Georgia is going to be in December. Other states have not seen their peak either. Some peak dates are set to happen in the fall, which is projected to spread more because the states are REOPENING. I get that money needs to be made, but at what point is the health of the population important?

As the different countries across the globe begin to open up, here’s what you can and should do to remain safe during this Pandemic.

WEAR A MASK- I’ve seen many posts on social media of people complaining about wearing a mask because it is uncomfortable, or because it causes carbon monoxide poisoning (this is not true). I’ve seen so many inaccurate reasons, but I will save that for another post. Wearing a mask protects YOU; it protects your loved ones and just your community as a whole. Let’s complain less about wearing a mask and do what is right. Let’s normalize wearing a mask.

WASH YOUR HANDS- I saw a tweet the other day that said something to the effect of “they keep telling us to wash our hands if that’s the case why is the virus still here” Now as we’ve known since we were children growing up, we were taught to wash our hands to prevent the spread of germs. It is no different from this virus. To prevent the spread of the virus or even contracting the virus, we need to be washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds frequently; now is the time to bring out your inner germaphobe. 

KEEP PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING– Limit as much in-person contact as you possibly can. I know many of you are dying to hang out with your friends and families or are eager to go to brunch (because weekends are for brunch) or dine out at a restaurant, but keep in the back of your mind the unknown is out there. We don’t know the specifics of the virus, and some people could be carriers of the virus and not know. TAP AH YAH YARD in translation, please stay home. If you choose to be around others, at least be sure that you are maintaining the six-feet distance.

KEEP DISINFECTING- I had to put this one in, I feel like finding disinfectant wipes or sprays is a thing of the past because they are rarely ever stocked on the shelves in the supermarkets these days, but you can get alcohol and make your own. We still need to be vigilant. 

STAY HOME- Yes, I know I mentioned social distancing, but there is a slight difference. When you’re out at the grocery store, it is essential to maintain that six feet distance from yourself and another person. However, staying home as much as possible means you avoid much close contact with anyone. I’ve always been a homebody, so having to stay home more does not bother me at all; in fact, it makes me even happier, but I do know everyone is not like me or may not be as fortunate as myself to have somewhere to live where there are comfortable. If you’re unable to stay home as much for whatever reason, be sure to protect yourself by wearing a mask or finding something to shield your face.

GET TESTED- I am an essential worker so I’m required to get tested, if you are an essential worker you MUST get tested and even if you’re not an essential worker and you think you may have come in contact with someone who has the virus GET TESTED. There are some state department of health that are offering free testing, and I know CVS pharmacy is also doing free testing. Look it up and see if your state is participating in free testing and get it done!

BE KIND- As a bonus, a little kindness goes a long way. We are all living through a pandemic, and it is very challenging for all of us, and maybe some more than others, so let’s just be kind to one another.

I encourage you to remain safe, do your research about how the virus is affecting your community weekly, at least. Being knowledgeable during this time is vital. The Pandemic is NOT over! The peak has not occurred in most places! Here in the U.S., there’s been two major holidays, and in other countries, there will be upcoming holidays, which means there will be a spike in cases. If you want the year 2021 to be much better than 2020, please follow what I listed above and LISTEN to public health officials because they are the expert. Prevention is better than cure( in this case there’s no cure).

Be safe, my people!

What have you been doing to stay safe during this Pandemic?

References: Coronavirus. https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus