Wash/Dispose Those Dirty Facemasks

Hello world, yet another beautiful day, how is hand washing, face masking and sanitising working out in your homes?  In my previous writing “harkening to Covid 19 Death Toll” I talked about how responsible we need to be in this corona plague. Recently I have done a lot of movements in Blantyre CBD, and my eyes landed on a lot of ‘dirty’ surgical and tailored facemasks. Of course it’s good to wear a mask all the time, that way we will live to lessen the possibility of contracting and spreading the virus, and that’s what we need. On the other hand I have questioned the technicality of good health when I see people moving recklessly with these dirty and unwashed masks.

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), face masks needs to routinely be washed rendering to the frequency of use. This basically means the more you use your mask, the more you need it cleaned every time you are to use it. With the scarcity of time, we all claim to be subjected to, it’s more convenient if we all could have more than one mask, so that we create a room to clean dirty ones. The possibility of curbing and defeating this notorious bug is in our hands, and wearing a face mask is one among many major measures to control the fast spread  , but it should not also makes us forget there’re some other infections that comes with dirtiness and uncleanliness.

As indicated by Alex Korab in one of his recent, but older posts on the ‘side effects of wearing masks’ “walking around with a dirty face mask isn’t doing you or anyone else any favours”. This essentially entails that if you hang around with dirty mask you are likely to spread other communicable infections, so instead of using the face mask to stop the spread of germs, you will be using it to blow-out germs. As responsible citizens, it is a wakeup call to let those around us know the dangers they impose on us or to the surrounding places when they walk aimlessly with a dirty face mask.

World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended the use of surgical masks, and these mask are intended for a single use. Which means if you use it the whole day, you can’t reuse it the next day.  And these mask are made of non-woven synthetic fabrics that can’t withstand a typical laundry cycle. Because of that it is impossible to get them washed, instead they are meant to be disposed once used. Unlike surgical masks, cloth/tailored masks are meant to be reused, however after an appropriate cleaning.

According to Sarah Gibbens on one of her articles on how you can effectively clean your face masks, she advises that cotton mask should be washed in high temperatures, and the water you’re to use should contain laundry detergents and soap that contain surfactants, chemicals that easily break enveloped viruses, this is so because Corona-virus is also an enveloped virus.

It is to our reach to use tailored mask, since many of us cannot afford surgical masks every now and then. And we need to take care of those masks, because that’s the only way we will help to curb and control the spread of the virus and other infections that comes with cleanliness.

how good is preventing by wearing a dirty masks?

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