Table of contents:
- Double Mask Effectiveness to Ward Off Virus
- How to Use Double Mask Correctly
- Other Ways to Make Masks More Effective
The use of double masks or two masks at once has now been officially recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, there are still rules for the use of double masks that must be adhered to so that the protection obtained is truly effective
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, masks have become an attribute that must be worn to avoid transmission of the Corona virus. The use of masks that were previously recommended was only one mask, be it a surgical mask, a KN95 mask, or a cloth mask with special provisions. However, now the public is advised to increase their personal protection by wearing a double mask.
Meanwhile, masks that have a valve or are equipped with ventilation are generally not recommended to be worn because they have not been proven effective in preventing the spread of the Corona virus.
Double Mask Effectiveness to Ward Off Virus
Recent research shows that the use of a double mask can prevent the transmission of COVID-19 more effectively than the use of a single mask, even if the mask used is already a surgical mask.
In this study it was stated that surgical masks can block airborne particles that have the potential to transmit the Corona virus as much as 84.3%. However, when doubled with a cloth mask, the protection can increase up to 96.4%.
This is because surgical masks are usually loosely attached and still leave a gap above the nose and on the cheeks. As a result, there are still air particles and droplets that can enter from this gap. In addition, loose surgical masks can easily fall under the nose.
In contrast to surgical masks, cloth masks are generally adjustable in tightness and fit to be worn on the face. Therefore, a combination of surgical masks and cloth masks can provide better protection.
How to Use Double Mask Correctly
The use of double masks must also be done in the right way in order to work effectively. Here's how to properly wear a double mask:
- Use a surgical mask as the first layer.
- Make sure that the thin wire at the top of the surgical mask is pressed against your face, so that it conforms to the shape of your nose.
- Cover the surgical mask with a cloth mask consisting of 3 layers of cloth. Wear a cloth mask that is the right size.
- Make sure the straps or rubber cloth mask are securely attached to the ears or tied at the back of the head.
- Try to exhale and feel if there is still air flowing from the top and sides of the mask. If it's still there, adjust the position and the tightness of the mask.
- Make sure you can still breathe comfortably and don't feel dizzy or lightheaded by wearing this double mask.
Just like using masks in the usual way, surgical masks must still be disposed of after one use, even though they are covered by cloth masks. Meanwhile, cloth masks can still be reused, but they must be washed first until they are clean.
It is important to remember, the double mask suggested here is only a combination of a surgical mask and a cloth mask. Do not cover the surgical mask with another surgical mask, as this will not provide better protection.
In addition, not all types of masks can be duplicated, for example, KN95 masks. This type of mask already has a high air filtering ability so it doesn't need to be coated with other types of masks.
As for children, wearing a double mask is not recommended because it can make it difficult for children to breathe.
Other Ways to Make Masks More Effective
If you don't feel comfortable wearing a double mask, you can trick the surgical mask so that it fits better on your face. The method is as follows:
- Fold the surgical mask in half, so that the top and bottom meet.
- Tie the mask hooks on the left and right sides to form a knot near the mask.
- Fold the corners of the mask to the inside.
- Wear the mask, then press the wire so that it follows the shape of the nose so that there is no gap between the mask and the face.
Another method is to use a mask fitter or mask braces on the outside of the surgical mask to support and press the mask so that there is no gap between the face and the mask.
Using a double mask can better protect you from exposure to the Corona virus. However, don't forget that this is just one of the ways to prevent COVID-19.
Besides wearing a mask properly, you also need to practice physical distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands frequently, and get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself and those around you from this disease.
If you still have questions regarding the use of masks and other preventive measures, or any questions regarding the COVID-19 disease, please don't hesitate to consult a doctor. You can also chat directly with doctors in the ALODOKTER application.