Understanding how COVID-19 spreads
Coronavirus COVID-19 spreads via droplets which can be expelled when an contaminated person coughs or sneezes. These droplets could be inhaled by other individuals or land on surfaces that different folks may touch 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.
Nonetheless steerage on whether or not face coverings needs to be worn by the final population as well seems less clear with steerage various in different nations across the world.
Who’s being advised to wear face coverings?
In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, persons are being advised to consider wearing face coverings* in enclosed public areas the place social distancing is more tough, eg on public transport and in shops. Individuals in Wales aren’t advised to wear face coverings, though they will choose to wear one in the event that they wish.
In all nations in the UK, face coverings in public spaces are a personal alternative and aren’t compulsory.
*Face coverings usually are not the identical as medical or surgical masks. Face coverings cover the nose and mouth and are made of breathable materials, comparable to cotton.
The benefits of face coverings
The evidence on using face coverings is limited, however they could be of some benefit when worn in enclosed public places the place it’s more troublesome to comply with social distancing rules.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control(link is exterior) (ECDC) has said that the usage of face coverings in public places could reduce the spread of infection locally when worn by people who may not realise they’re infected. This is why some nations are encouraging folks to wear them in public places.
So face coverings don’t protect you; they protect others you could come into contact with, if in case you have the virus and do not realise it yet.
The risks of wearing face coverings
The use of face coverings by most people more widely in the neighborhood might carry additional risks.
If everyone wears them there is concern it may create a false sense of security leading people to neglect other social distancing measures – like common handwashing and keeping at the least two meters away from others.
As well as this, face coverings should be used safely in order to be effective. If used incorrectly there’s a risk of self-contamination. Anybody wearing a face covering should understand find out how to wear, remove and wash them in the appropriate way.
Finally, there is additionally the risk of a scarcity of medical masks for health professionals if everyone is advised to wear a face covering.
In case you do decide to wear a face covering, the UK government has advisable that folks use their own face coverings moderately than medical masks. This is to forestall any shortages of medical masks for the health and social care professionals who want them most.
How can I make my own face covering?
You could use current objects of clothing like bandanas or scarves. Alternatively, some individuals are making their own utilizing various textiles like cotton fabric.
The UK government has issued steering on how to make and wear your own face covering(link is exterior). Alternatively, there are various patterns and tutorials available totally free 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 material, its water repellence qualities, and the shape and fit of the mask.
Sustain with other social distancing measures
It’s important to remember that face coverings aren’t a replacement for different social distancing measures.
Preventative measures like physical distancing, hand hygiene and avoiding touch your face, nose, eyes and mouth ought to proceed to be adopted too. These are most effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19.