Coronavirus Prevention: Do You Really Need To Wear Face Masks?

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The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the world runs. This has led to closed businesses, social distancing and curfews to help stop the spread of the virus. In addition, many people have been buying up many things in bulk as no one knows how long they’ll be stuck at home. If you’re like most Kenyans thinking of stocking up, one thing that you might have heard was essential is face masks. However, how effective are they against getting and spreading coronavirus? This is what you need to know before you start bulk buying some face masks.


Coronavirus Prevention Face Masks

Courtesy: NPR


Can Face Masks Prevent You From Getting Coronavirus

The short answer to this question is no. The long answer to this question is no, unless you also take other measures to prevent infection. These include social distancing and washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser. Wearing face masks alone is not a guarantee that you’ll not get coronavirus. This is partly because viruses are very very small and some of these particles may also pass through your face mask. In addition, putting on a face mask has been shown to make people touch their face more which can lead to coronavirus transmission through the eyes. Furthermore, regular face masks are not well fitted around the nose and mouth, which makes it difficult to keep viral particles out.


When To Use Face Masks

You may have seen on the news a lot of people from different countries wearing face masks everywhere. This may seem like the right thing to do but it sometimes isn’t. This is because too many people wearing face masks when they don’t need to may lead to a shortage for people who actually need it. When used correctly, face masks can be used to limit the spread of coronavirus. Since the coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets, the masks act like a barrier. According to WHO, there are several instances when you should wear face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus:

  1. If you are coughing or sneezing, which is one of the symptoms of coronavirus.
  2. If you are a healthy person taking care of a patient with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
  3. If you start showing symptoms of coronavirus and want to protect others.


Coronavirus Prevention Face Masks

Courtesy: NBC News


How To Safely Use & Dispose Of Face Masks

For your face mask to work properly, there are a few guidelines you need to follow. To start with, you should ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser before you use it. In addition, you should also avoid touching your mask or your face when using it. Face masks are supposed to cover your nose and mouth, and you should make sure there are no gaps between your face and your mask. To dispose of the mask after use, WHO recommends that you remove it from the back while being careful not to touch the front. You should then throw it immediately into a closed bin and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. You should also replace your mask if it becomes damp and single-use face masks should never be reused.


While it can be very tempting to buy a lot of face masks due to coronavirus infection fears, it is important that you don’t do that. Health care workers need these masks now more than ever, which should be readily available to take care of sick patients at low risk to themselves. The best way you can help to limit the spread of COVID-19 is by staying at home, washing your hands and getting the right information from reputable sources.


Featured Image Courtesy: Unsplash



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