The Singapore government has made a total u-turn on the wearing mask issue.
Previously, they said that only sick people need to wear a mask. But now? It’s everybody.
“Therefore, we will no longer discourage people from wearing masks. Wearing a mask may help to protect others, in case you have the virus but don’t know it. This is so that you keep your droplets to yourself – when you sneeze or speak or cough. It can also protect yourself a little better, especially if you are elderly, or vulnerable because of pre-existing health conditions.”
In order to facilitate the transition for Singaporeans, they’ve issued reusable masks out to every Singaporean.
But Here’s A Question:
Okay, I’ve got a reusable mask now.
But how do I wash it?
After all, it’s like pen-pineapple-apple-pen.
I’ve got a mask.
I need to wash it.
BOOM. Perfect protection.
SongWannaBe: You seriously suck.
Okay, but seriously, now that you’ve gotten a reusable mask, how do you maintain it so that it’ll be effective?
Wash With Warm Water And Soap After Every Use
If you’ve collected the reusable mask from the distribution centres, it comes with a brochure that teaches you how to maintain the masks.
And the key message in it is for users to wash their masks with warm water and soap on both sides.
The external side to wash away viruses that might have been on the surface of the mask, and the inner side of the mask where viruses from you are collected at.
How often, though? Once a week? Or maybe, once every two to three days?
According to NPR, you can treat reusable cloth masks like your underwear and wash it after every use.
“You don’t take this dirty mask off, put it in your purse and then stick it back on your face.”
Once you put it on, it could potentially touch your coughs, sneezes or the spray of saliva when you talk.
This means that the mask is now dirty and should either be thrown away or washed in warm water with soap.
Although given how the world is now facing a shortage of masks, we highly recommend the latter.
Also, remember to dry the mask properly after a wash, Gov.sg says.
Use A Mask Properly
As for why studies on whether masks can protect people adequately fail, it’s because most people misuse the mask.
For example, don’t touch the surface of your mask with your hands because the viruses which the mask protects you from are now transferred to your hands, and subsequently, to you when you touch your face.
Here’s a video that we did to explain how a mask is worn properly.
Note: Even though it was made for surgical masks, the same method extends to cloth masks.
PS: It was shot before the government made their U-turn, which is why it recommended that only sick people wear masks.
You can do your part as a responsible citizen through helping out in contact tracing by downloading the TraceTogether app.