Understanding how COVID-19 spreads
Coronavirus COVID-19 spreads through droplets that are expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets will be inhaled by different individuals or land on surfaces that different folks may contact after which ingest by touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
The way COVID-19 spreads has led to strict rules on medical masks being worn in hospital and care environments to cease the virus spreading and being passed on to healthcare professionals.
However steering on whether face coverings must be worn by the final population as well appears less clear with steering varying in numerous international locations around the world.
Who’s being advised to wear face coverings?
In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, people are being advised to consider wearing face coverings* in enclosed public areas the place social distancing is more difficult, eg on public transport and in shops. People in Wales are not advised to wear face coverings, though they will select to wear one in the event that they wish.
In all nations in the UK, face coverings in public areas are a personal choice and are usually not compulsory.
*Face coverings should not the identical as medical or surgical masks. Face coverings cover the nostril and mouth and are made of breathable materials, akin to cotton.
The benefits of face coverings
The proof on the use of face coverings is limited, however they might be of some benefit when worn in enclosed public places the place it’s more difficult to follow social distancing rules.
The European Centre for Illness Prevention and Control(link is exterior) (ECDC) has said that the usage of face coverings in public places could reduce the spread of an infection locally when worn by individuals who might not realise they’re infected. This is why some international locations are encouraging folks to wear them in public places.
So face coverings do not protect you; they protect others you might come into contact with, you probably have the virus and don’t realise it yet.
The risks of wearing face coverings
The use of face coverings by most of the people more widely locally might carry extra risks.
If everybody wears them there is concern it may create a false sense of safety leading people to neglect other social distancing measures – like common handwashing and keeping no less than two meters away from others.
As well as this, face coverings need to be used safely with the intention to be effective. If used incorrectly there’s a risk of self-contamination. Anybody wearing a face covering should understand how you can wear, remove and wash them in the appropriate way.
Finally, there’s additionally the risk of a shortage of medical masks for health professionals if everyone seems to be advised to wear a face covering.
For those who do decide to wear a face covering, the UK authorities has really useful that people use their own face coverings rather than medical masks. This is to stop any shortages of medical masks for the health and social care professionals who need them most.
How can I make my own face covering?
You could possibly use present objects of clothing like bandanas or scarves. Alternatively, some persons are making their own using various textiles like cotton fabric.
The UK authorities has issued steering on the way to make and wear your own face covering(link is exterior). Alternatively, there are various patterns and tutorials available at no cost on-line (like this one(link is external)).
If you’re making your own face covering, consider the number of layers, the breathability of the fabric, its water repellence qualities, and the form and fit of the mask.
Sustain with different social distancing measures
It’s necessary to remember that face coverings aren’t a replacement for different social distancing measures.
Preventative measures like physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding contact your face, nose, eyes and mouth ought to proceed to be adopted too. These are only at reducing the spread of COVID-19.