By Dr. Thomas Horowitz

More and more cities and health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging people to wear masks when stepping outside during the lockdown. While a simple face covering can protect you from the Coronavirus by blocking the germs, there are certain things you need to know about choosing the right facial protection.

  • The first thing to consider is the fit of the mask. A good fit stays up over the nose and the sides come in tight over the cheeks. We want all the air filtered through the mask and not unfiltered through the side openings.
  • We want a reasonable filter and a tight knit material. Use tightly woven cotton like quilter’s cotton. To check the weave, hold the mask up to the sun and you should not be able to see the sun. If light passes through the mask, it is not a good material. You need denser and thicker material.
  • Multiple layers are needed. One of the best layers can be made with new vacuum cleaner bag pieces.
  • You must replace or wash the mask daily. When you wash it, make sure none of the components will be damaged by the process. For instance, the vacuum bag will not do well in a wash.
  • Remember to wear eye coverings, along with a mask. Goggles are the best. Safety glasses with side protection is also a good option. If you don’t have either of those, normal glasses are better than none.

By wearing a simple face mask—and choosing the right kind—you can protect yourself and make sure you don’t bring the virus home.
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