Using Face Mask the Right Way as a Means to Prevent COVID-19

Face Mask
Face Mask

Face mask is one of the protective material used to prevent a person from contracting airborne and droplet infections (Lai, Poon, & Cheung, 2012). A mask is supposed to cover the nose and the mouth when worn. The main function of a mask is for filtering and trapping of dust and microorganisms (Morishima et al. 2014). When a contagious individual (a person with an infectious disease) coughs or sneezes, numerous droplets containing infectious particles (bacteria and viruses) are released and therefore it has necessitate the use of face most especially at this critical period when there is an outbreak of COVID-19.

Who have to put on a mask?

We all have to use a mask because we don’t know who carries the Coronavirus but most especially when;

  • going to public places
  • coughing
  • someone around you is coughing
  • you have high body temperature

Rules to follow in putting om mask

I have seen several people use one face mask severally because they will not get some to use again when they discard it, hence it is recommended that the government make mask available for use as a means of preventing this deadly virus. I have also seen several people with mask who pull it down when they want to speak and other people in mask covering only the mouth, and hence it has become necessary for us to learn few things regarding wearing of a mask. Below are few information regarding the wearing of a mask.

  • Wash hands before putting on a mask, before and after taking the mask off or use alcohol rub
  • The mask should cover the nose, mouth and chin
  • Never pull mask when you want to speak
  • Don’t wear a single mask for more than 24 hours
  • Do not reuse a mask when it is removed.
  • The mask should fit snugly over the face.
  • The colored side of the mask faces outwards, with the metallic strip uppermost.
  • Try not to touch the mask once it is secured on your face as frequent handling may reduce its protection. If you must do so, wash your hands before and after touching the mask.
  • Do not insert your hands inside the mask the scratch the nose or the lips
  • Never touch the outside of the mask when you are removing it since you may come in contact with the infectious organisms
  • When taking off the mask, avoid touching the outside of the mask as this part may be covered with germs.

How to put on a face mask

The following steps should be followed when putting on a mask

  • Remember your hands might be contaminated with this deadly virus or other viruses and bacteria, and hence, wash your hands or use alcohol hand rub before putting on a mask
  • Before putting a mask on make sure it is new and there are no obvious tears in it.
  • Ensure the colored side of the mask faces outwards, with the metallic strip uppermost
  • If using a mask with the two strings for the ears, hold the mask by the ear loops and place each loop around each ear.
  • When using face mask with ties, bring the mask to your nose level after your hands are washed and place the ties over the crown of your head and secure with a bow behind. Then take the bottom ties, one in each hand, and secure with a bow at the nape of your neck.
  • Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.

Removing a mask

This is as important as wearing a mask since a person can become contaminated with the same organism he or she is preventing if it is not done well. Hence, the following steps should be followed in removing a mask

  • Wash hand with soap and water
  • Remove mask by only touching the ties or strings. Avoid touching the front of the mask. The front of the mask is contaminated.
  • If you are using a mask with the two ear loops, hold each loop at the same time, lift it from the ear and pull it from the face.
  • If using face mask with ties, untie the bottom bow first then untie the top bow and pull the mask away from you with the ties
  • Discard the mask and wash your hands with soap and water before entering your room


Evans Osei Appiah

Assistant Lecturer

Valley View University

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