Physical Health English

Should I be wearing a mask?

If so, what kind of mask should I wear, when should I wear it, and where could I get one?

In order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, the health minister recommends that everyone should wear cloth face masks when in public. It is possible to carry the Coronavirus and feel well. Face masks helps to stop the virus getting into the air and infecting other people.

Disposable medical grade masks should be kept for healthcare workers who are in close contact with COVID-19 patients. Other people should wear cloth masks.

How should cloth masks be used?

  • Do not share masks. If you are able to, make sure everyone who leaves the house has two face masks, a clean one that is ready to use, and another one for when one is dirty or on the washing line.
  • Make sure your mask is big enough to cover your mouth and nose completely.
  • Before you use the mask, make sure it has been washed with soap and warm water, dried and ironed. Ironing helps to kill off the germs.
  • Do not touch the inside of the mask when putting it on or taking it off.
  • Once your mask is on, do not fiddle with it, touch your face, or lower the mask to speak.
  • After you take off the mask, make sure you wash your hands carefully, and wash the mask immediately.

How can I make a cloth mask?

  • Find two layers of strong cotton material. The material should be fairly thick, like a cotton dishcloth, but you still need to be able to breathe through the mask. Stretchy T-shirt material is NOT good.
  • Cut the pieces of cloth into 2 rectangles, each 20cm by 15cm in size.
  • Put the two pieces of cloth on top of each other. If the cloth has a pattern or print, put the printed sides together. Stitch the two pieces of material together along the all the edges, but leave a small gap in the middle of one of the short edges so that you can turn the material inside out.
  • In between the two layers, add a third layer of breathable cotton or liner.
  • Turn the material inside out so that the stitching is on the inside and the pattern on the outside.
  •  Take two shoe laces, pieces of elastic  or strings and sew them along the short edges of the mask. The strings should be long enough so you can tie the mask onto your face with your mouth and nose covered – and not fall off.  

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