The second wave of COVID that has hit India hard has proved to be fatal. Along with handwashing and maintaining social distance, the most important thing that everyone MUST do is wear a mask. Indian doctors and experts are suggesting wearing a single mask even when at home and you are sharing the space with other family members. Wearing the mask is the most basic and easiest but most important thing you can do to avoid getting infected. Mask is your shield against COVID. Here is what WHO has recommended.
1. Clean your hands before you put your mask on
2. Make sure the mask covers both your nose, mouth and chin.
3. When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag
4. Wash the mask daily if it is a fabric mask, or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin
5. Don't use masks with valves
Here is what the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested
1. Choose masks that have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
2. Completely cover your nose and mouth
3. Your mask should fit snugly against the sides of your face. There should be no gaps
4. Have a nose wire (as found in N95 masks) to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask
Avoid wearing masks that:
1. Are made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe, for example, vinyl
2. Have exhalation valves or vents that allow virus particles to escape
Regarding face shields, CDC says it is not recommended since their "effectiveness is unknown at this time" although the evaluation is ongoing. Instead, you can wear a gaiter with two layers or fold it to make two layers.