What to Look for When Buying Disposable Surgical Face Masks in Australia and How You Need to Clean Them
The world has come to a sudden standstill as a global pandemic has halted life as we know it. People are dying in numbers that are unheard of, and a general fear has settled into the bones of people all around the globe. But there is still hope if we listen to experts and use surgical masks here in Australia both disposable and reusable masks along with practising social distancing. If the public diligently followed this advice, then the spread of the virus can be minimized quite drastically.
A comprehensive guide regarding the use of different types of masks has been laid out below to dispel any doubts that have popped up in the masses of Australia:
Suitable Masks for the Daily User
There have been conflicting reports from various online sources that seem to recommend all types of masks available, be it surgical masks, disposable masks, or reusable surgical face masks. It is best to follow the advice of experts in these matters instead of Instagram influencers who are in their teen years. Experts recommend using disposable and reusable masks for the daily drill instead of opting for surgical and industrial-grade masks. These masks like N95 and P2 are not recommended to be used outside of health settings, and the use of reusable masks seems to be the best option in Australia as well as the whole world.
Which design to use?
Even among disposable and reusable masks, there are various designs available. The triple-layered design has been proven to work the best as it covers the whole face from nose to chin. Most shops and online stores sell these types of single-use and reusable masks. If not available in the market, it is easy to make them yourselves as well according to the CDC guidelines to make home-made masks. The Australian government has said that one can make masks at home by using any cotton t-shirts or cloth materials. The mask should have three layers made out of washable fabric. Strapit has level 1-3 surgical masks and the level 1 surgical mask is the base model for the general public.
How to sterilize your mask
While some sketchy sources may tell you to put your masks in the microwave, experts do not support that view. Microwaving you masks may cause a fire, and it doesn't even kill most of the germs. For surgical mask they are generally single use and can be used for a few hours a day of continuous use. The correct way to clean a reusable cloth masks is to either wash them with detergent or hand wash and dried out properly before use.
Dos and Don’ts of Disposable Masks
A disposable surgical face mask should ideally be used only once but can be used a couple of more times if no other option is available. But one must take some precautions before doing so. The important thing is not to use the mask if it is damp or wet, as this leads to their ineffectiveness. As an absolute last resort if you do not have access to a supply of surgical masks, you can hang the mask on a hook for 1-2 days recommended in Australia and then dry it out completely. Only then does it become safe enough for you to use again. But use this method only when you have no other choice. The safest alternative is to either use another disposable mask or buy a reusable one.
Added measures to prevent infection
While disposable surgical masks are very important tools in this global fight against coronavirus, other measures should also be taken to ensure the fight leads to eradicating the virus. Along with masks, be sure to frequently sanitize your hands, as touching your mask with a dirty hand will solve nothing. Maintain proper cleanliness and take care of your personal hygiene regularly. In a time where there is not yet any vaccine or viable treatment available for this deadly disease, it is essential to practice prevention the best and most effective way.