An Open Letter To Everyone Wearing Face Masks Incorrectly
I saw several of you walking around yesterday while I was at Walmart. I felt a number of mixed emotions: happy to see more people wearing masks, but really disappointed at those who were wearing them incorrectly, and seemed to not be taking the need to wear it seriously.
There is a correct way to wear a face mask.
The way you had it covering your mouth but not your nose, is wrong. The way that you kept taking it off to talk, is wrong. I've seen people wearing surgical masks with the white side out, which is also wrong.
The CDC recommends wearing face coverings in public places where other social distancing measures are difficult, like grocery stores and pharmacies.
Here's the reality: if you wear a mask, it's important to use it the correct way, otherwise it's ineffective and doesn't actually do anything to protect yourself or others from COVID-19.
Here's a graphic from the World Health Organization explaining the correct and incorrect ways to wear masks:
If you're someone who is wearing a handmade cloth mask, there are some things you should take into consideration as well:
Cloth face coverings should (according to the CDC) -
- fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- be secured with ties or ear loops
- include multiple layers of fabric
- allow for breathing without restriction
- be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Governor Cuomo put an order into effect that face masks are mandatory for New Yorkers to wear when they go out in public. I think it's important to reiterate how important it is to wear them correctly, covering your mouth and nose when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Face covering are meant to protect other people in case you are infected. You can be a carrier before you even show symptoms, so please wear it the right way.
I know I, as well as other people who are at a higher risk of contracting it, would seriously appreciate it.