In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, everyday life has been very different than before. People are refraining from going out and are encouraged to only venture outdoors for essential needs, like shopping for groceries. Many professionals are working at home instead of at their offices, needing to resort to electronic communication to reach their colleagues.
Another change to everyday life can be seen through the now common safety practice of people wearing masks. This is just one of several measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, given the unknowns associated with COVID-19, people may feel unsure about the virus and how these measures are meant to prevent its spread.
For example, hand washing was already common practice but was emphasized further once the pandemic hit. Mask wearing, on the other hand, is something most people are not as familiar with but is now part of the new normal.
Continue reading to learn more about coronavirus, face masks and coverings, and how wearing such items aids in COVID-19 prevention.
How do face masks and coverings protect people from the coronavirus?
COVID-19 spreads via respiratory droplets. So, if an infected person coughs or sneezes, the infectious droplets are released into the air and can spread to others. But with a face mask on, these droplets cannot reach your face or nose as they are blocked by the covering you are wearing.
Will wearing a face mask or covering help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
Similarly, a face mask helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus by preventing respiratory droplets from travelling out into the air and to others. An infected person wearing a mask who sneezes or coughs will do so into their face covering, keeping the droplets there instead of being spread elsewhere. Even simply speaking can transmit these droplets into the air, so a face covering will stop the infectious droplets from escaping during conversation, too.
Some individuals can have COVID-19 with mild or no symptoms at all, so it is possible for a seemingly healthy person to spread coronavirus to others without even realizing it. Furthermore, it can take up to 14 days for an infected person to show symptoms. Because of this, it is crucial that people wear a face mask to prevent the virus’s spread.
What makes for an effective face mask or covering?
An effective face mask or covering should have at least two layers of fabric. Fit-wise, it should cover your face from the top of your nose to beneath your chin. There should be no large gaps, but it should not fit so tightly that the mask prevents you from comfortably talking or irritates you. If your mask is not covering up both your nose and face, then it is too small for you.
If you are wearing a mask with your nose and/or mouth uncovered, then you are not wearing it properly.
Cloth masks and disposable surgical masks are sufficient for everyday people, as they will prevent COVID-19 from spreading. However, professional N95 respirators should be reserved for first responders and medical and health care professionals.
Are bandanas and gaiters acceptable face coverings for coronavirus protection?
Bandanas and neck gaiters, meanwhile, are not effective face coverings for stopping the spread of coronavirus.
A bandana is ineffective due to the opening at the bottom whereas a gaiter is often made of too thin of a fabric to effectively protect oneself. Additionally, masks that have exhalation valves are ineffective, because the valves allow your droplets to enter the open air.
When should masks be worn?
People should wear masks whenever they are in a public place, especially an indoor space, where there are others around. This will help protect others and yourself from COVID-19 and prevent it from spreading. Some examples of this include inside a grocery store or when using public transportation. When you are outdoors and near others, you should also wear a mask, even if you are exercising.
When you are at home, in an enclosed car with family/people you live with, or in other similar instances, wearing a mask is not necessary.
Professional Disinfecting and Cleaning Help
While wearing face masks and coverings is important to stop the spread of coronavirus, that is just one safety measure people must take during this pandemic. Disinfecting and cleaning your home and workplace are also essential for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Office cleaning, however, can prove to be difficult if you are dealing with a large environment — even with your own cleaning staff on hand.
If you are in need of commercial cleaning help, then ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning can be of service. We offer professional commercial cleaning and disinfection services in the Houston, TX, area to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in offices and other commercial buildings.
Within our office cleaning services, our professional technicians wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and use only EPA-approved disinfectants and cleaning products throughout your property. We make sure to treat all areas but pay special attention to high-touch areas.
Our disinfection services can be of benefit to your workplace if you have had a coronavirus outbreak. Even if not, our commercial cleaning will ensure your employees have a clean, safe work environment, providing them with some peace of mind during what can be an unsettling time.