COVID-19 has changed the world as we know it. While we're able to visit restaurants, businesses, and stores again, it's important to protect yourself and those around you. It can be tough to navigate the new normal and feel comfortable running errands, visiting with family, and going out in public.
If you have to wear a mask while at work, you know how uncomfortable a mask that doesn't fit properly is. This is why wearing a properly designed fabric face mask can make all the difference.
We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about face masks and the importance of a three-layer design. From what the layers do to when to wear them, this is your go-to COVID-19 mask guide.
Why Do You Need Multiple Layers in a Fabric Face Mask?
The World Health Organization, also known as WHO recommends a mask with three layers be worn at all times in public or when interacting with people outside of your home. This is especially important when social distancing is difficult.
Why three layers? The first layer is made to absorb. The second layer acts as a filter and the third outer layer helps to block. It is important to keep in mind that the goal of a fabric mask is to keep your own germs inside and to help block outside germs from entering your mouth and nose.
These fabric masks have an antibacterial outer layer, and two additional layers of breathable cotton within them to make them comfortable and safe for all-day usage. If you’re wearing a mask that is hard to breathe in or traps heat, you may be tempted to pull it down. Pulling a mask down under your nose or under your chin renders it ineffective.
Coronavirus Mask Protection 101
According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads primarily from person to person in close contact with one another. If an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, within six feet of another person, it is possible for them to inhale respiratory droplets.
What makes COVID-19 so dangerous is that you may not even show any symptoms of having the virus. While you can feel completely healthy, if you and a friend are gathering together without masks, you run the risk of spreading the virus through droplets.
People with underlying health conditions and those who are over the age of 60 are, particularly at risk. It is imperative that these groups of people wear protective face masks at all times in public for their protection.
Essential workers and healthcare providers who have increased chances of coming into contact with the virus should also wear masks when off-duty and interacting in public or with friends and family.
Remember the Importance of Social Distancing
While masks are one of the most important lines of defense when it comes to stopping the spread of COVID-19, social distancing is also key. With businesses, restaurants, and public spaces open again, it is important to remember that there still isn’t a cure or vaccine for COVID-19.
Social distancing means keeping six feet apart from other people. When you’re at a grocery store, for example, staying six feet apart from other shoppers can help keep you away from respiratory droplets.
If you’re gathering with people outside of your household, keeping six feet apart and wearing a face mask can lower your chances of contracting or spreading the virus. Remember to also wash your hands thoroughly and keep a bottle of hand sanitizer accessible. Avoid touching your face when in public or around others as well.
The Problem with DIY Face Masks and Medical Grade Masks
While homemade or do-it-yourself face masks are great in theory, they are often not enough to protect against COVID-19. If your mask doesn’t fit properly or is loose, it is essentially useless in keeping the virus out or in. If there is too much space near your mouth or nose, respiratory droplets can still come through while talking, sneezing, or coughing.
Homemade face masks often aren’t made using three layers. You want a mask that feels comfortable but is also certified to protect. The three-layers of protection is one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19.
While medical-grade masks are crucial for some essential workers and healthcare professionals, not everyone needs one. Our frontline workers need personal protective equipment and medical-grade masks to protect themselves and others.
If people who are generally staying at home buy up large quantities of medical-grade masks, this reduces the amount available for healthcare workers. Keep these masks for those working tirelessly every day to keep us safe.
The Best Face Mask
Wearing a fabric face mask is one of the best things we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19. It is important to remember that even if you’re young and healthy and don’t have any symptoms, COVID-19 can be deadly for someone else around you.
The best masks for coronavirus protection are ones with three layers. Wear a mask whenever you’re in public and social distancing isn’t possible. It’s important to remember that even if you don’t feel sick, you could be carrying the virus. The people you’re interacting with could also be unknown carriers.
Having more than one mask on hand can also help make sure you have one wherever you need it. Keep one in your car, one by the front door, and one with your keys so you’re always prepared.
Check out the entire collection of fabric face mask styles here to keep you safe and protected.