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Are you wearing your mask correctly?

The world is six months into what was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Since then, new protocols have been established such as: practice social distance, no large gathering, increase hand washing and wear a mask. With some lax on a few of the protocols, masks are still urged and recommended.

There’s been controversy within the country as to whether the public should be required to wear masks or not. Masks are extremely urged, but there’s no way to force someone to wear a mask. Those who wear a mask understand it’s helpful for not only themselves but others. Simultaneously, those who wear a mask may not be wearing it correctly. If that’s you, you might as well not wear a mask at all.

Masks are supposed to cover your mouth and nose. The issue has been people wear masks, but with their nose exposed. Pulmonologist Professor Dr. Bulent Tutluoglu, who has recovered from COVID-19, said, “In 80 percent of the cases the virus infection gets into the body through the nose.”

The Center for Disease Control stated it’s best to wear masks in public settings when around those who do not live in your household. The outside air may not appear as a threat, but it can be if you’re in an area where it’s difficult to practice and maintain social distancing measures.

Dr. Tom Frieden, the president and CEO of global health initiative Resolve to Save Lives, tweeted, “There’s no scientific doubt that wearing a mask protects others and it likely protects you as well. If we all wear masks, we’ll all be safe.”

There are many types and forms of masks. There are surgical masks, cotton masks, one-layer pleated masks, bandanas being used as masks and neck gaiters. The image below, provided by USA Today, illustrates the effectiveness of these masks and the relative droplet count.

All people 2 years of age or older should wear a mask. However, the CDC stated no person should wear a mask if they are: under the age of two, having trouble breathing or are unconscious or incapacitated.

The biggest benefit of wearing a mask is that it can help prevent those who have COVID-19 from spreading it to others. However, it has been proven that people can have COVID-19 but be asymptomatic, which further illustrates why everyone should wear a mask, not just those who know they are ill.

Whether you’re going through the Starbucks drive-thru, going to Target or going to the bars for a night out, it’s highly recommended that you wear a mask. Make sure it is not only covering your mouth but your nose as well.

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