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When and how to wear a mask for better protection

Although wearing a mask is no longer mandatory in Canada, there are still many places where it is best to wear a mask, not only for COVID-19 but also for many other contagious diseases, including the common flu. Thus, in this article we explain how to wear a mask and when it is crucial

When to use a mask?

According to the official website of the province of Quebec, even though to wear a mask is no longer mandatory, it is recommended to continue with its daily use for those who: have a weakened immune system; who have medical conditions that make them vulnerable like chronic lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, or heart conditions; mental disabilities such as Down syndrome or dementia or if you are over 60 years old.

Also, if you have constant contact with someone who meets the above conditions, it is prudent to wear a mask to take care of your loved ones. 

On the other hand, in closed places, i.e., with low air flow and high concentration of people, it is still advisable for everyone to wear a mask. For example, in public transport, at the theater, concerts or in workplaces. 

Likewise, if you have felt symptoms of flu or COVID-19 it is important to wear a mask preventively, even if you have not yet had a test. 

How to wear a mask?

It is key to know the proper way to wear a mask because if you do not wear it properly, there will be no point in wearing it because it will not protect you.

First of all, it is recommended to use surgical masks, although there are reusable options on the market, many times they are not made with the proper standards. Likewise, using a bandana or simply a piece of cloth will not help.

Secondly, before using a mask, you should wash your hands. When removing it, it is also recommended to wash your hands. 

When you are going to wear a mask, try to take it from the elastics, so as not to touch the mask. 

Once you have put on the mask, adjust the noseband so that it fits properly. It is important that the mask covers your nose and mouth, as it is through these that the virus can be transmitted.

Disposable masks usually last about one day of use. However, if your mask gets dirty or wet, you should change it immediately.

If you wish to remove your mask for eating or in an open space, you should remove it from the elastics and store it in a plastic container. Fortunately, it is now possible to find specialized plastic containers for storing a mask

There are cases where surgical masks can be highly uncomfortable for certain individuals depending on the material. For example, children and people with specific disabilities. A person with autism may be very sensitive to certain materials and a child may not understand the importance of it.

In these cases, it is recommended to try different types of surgical masks until you find the right one, whose texture does not bother the individual. This is very important since if they are constantly adjusting or removing the protective mask completely, they will end up contaminating it and it will lose its effect.

Specifically in children, it is only recommended that those older than 2 years use medical face masks and that those who do use them use masks designed for infants, which are smaller and fit appropriately. In the same way, the adults around them should be in charge of explaining the importance of the proper way to wear a mask and that it should not be touched, removed or moistened. 

If a person has severe respiratory problems or cannot remove the mask without assistance, it is best not to wear a protective mask. 

Finally, under no circumstances should you share your mask or reuse disposable masks, nor should you constantly touch the mask once you are wearing it or wet it with saliva.

Status of use of face masks in Canada

In most countries, COVID-19 restrictions have been reduced and it is becoming less common to see people wearing masks. However, many are unaware of the current legislative status regarding the use of masks.

Thus, here are some details to keep in mind regarding the use of face masks in Canada.

At this time, the use of protective masks is not mandatory. However, the Canadian government recommends their continued use for people at risk, in enclosed spaces and if not yet vaccinated.

Another frequently asked question is the use of protective masks for air travel in Canada. According to the CBC, both tourists and Canadian citizens are no longer required to undergo COVID-19 testing prior to travel or to isolate themselves upon entering the country. Also, masks will no longer be mandatory on planes and trains, but are still recommended, especially on long journeys. 

If you want to know more information about the use of face masks in Canada, we recommend you to visit the official government website. On the other hand, we recommend you to buy your medical face masks in boxes to avoid running out of them. Fortunately, they can be purchased online in Canada.