How to Use a Cloth Mask to Prevent Corona Virus Infection

The scarcity of disposable masks to prevent Corona virus infections makes many people switch to cloth masks. Although not an ideal mask to prevent COVID-19, cloth masks that are worn properly are still far better than not wearing a mask at all.

Corona virus can be transmitted through sputum sputum or saliva when people with COVID-19 cough or sneeze. To reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others, people who are sick with coughs, colds, or sneezing are advised to wear a mask, especially if it is at high risk of suffering from COVID-19.

Actually, masks are recommended for people who are sick and those who care for them. However, as the number of people who are positively infected with the Corona virus increase, many healthy people also wear masks to avoid being exposed to this virus.

This causes disposable masks, such as surgical masks and N95 masks, to become rare items that are very expensive. Not only the general public, doctors, nurses, and medical staff who deal with patients are now having trouble getting masks.

Therefore, people are forced to look for alternative masks, namely cloth masks that can be washed and worn again.

Cloth Masks and Corona Virus

According to research, cloth masks are not as effective as N95 masks and surgical masks in counteracting the Corona virus.

Compared to cloth masks, surgical masks and N95 respirator masks are far more effective at filtering dust, bacteria, and very small particles such as the Corona virus. Both types of masks can also prevent sputum or saliva from penetrating, because it has a waterproof coating.

The following are some reasons why fabric masks are less effective in reducing the risk of Corona virus transmission:

  1. Fabric masks are mostly made by home industries whose manufacturing processes and materials do not follow medical standards.
  2. The fabric used is not the same as the surgical mask or N95 mask.
  3. The tip of the fabric mask tends to be loose, so it cannot completely cover the area around the nose and mouth.
  4. A cloth mask cannot prevent the entry of very small particles, such as the Corona virus, into the nose or mouth through the air.
  5. When not used properly, cloth masks can actually increase the risk of viruses entering the body. For one thing, this mask is easy to move and loose, so the wearer needs to repeatedly touch the face to adjust the position of the mask.

How to Use a Cloth Mask to More Effectively Prevent Corona Virus

Although not as effective as surgical masks or N95 masks in counteracting the Corona virus, fabric masks are still better than not wearing masks at all, as long as they are properly worn.

In order for the fabric mask to function optimally to ward off the Corona virus, do the following tips:

  1. Choose a mask that fits your face size and can cover your mouth, nose and chin.
  2. Wash hands before wearing a mask, then wear the mask on the face and tuck the strap behind the ear or tie the mask strap behind the head tightly so that the mask does not loose.
  3. Avoid touching cloth masks when in use. If you want to correct the position of a cloth mask that is changing or loose, wash your hands first before touching the mask.
  4. After finishing use, remove the cloth mask by only touching the hook or straps, then immediately wash the cloth mask with clean water and detergent or boil the mask in boiling water with a minimum temperature of 130 degrees Celsius.
  5. Replace cloth mask immediately if it has been torn or damaged.

Tips to Prevent Corona Virus

The use of any cloth mask or mask needs to be accompanied by other preventive measures so that the protection against COVID-19 can be optimal. Some prevention steps you can take to protect yourself from the Corona virus are:

  1. Wash your hands regularly with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If there is no water and soap, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  2. When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with your elbows folded or with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash.
  3. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth, especially with your hands that have not been washed.
  4. Apply physical distancing by keeping a distance of at least 1 meter from other people.
  5. Avoid traveling outside the house when there is no urgent need. Study, worship, and work from home (work from home) whenever possible.
  6. Maintain endurance by regularly exercising at home, eating nutritious foods and supplements, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and not smoking.

Cloth masks are not really effective at protecting yourself from the Corona virus. However, wearing cloth masks when disposable masks are not available at least can reduce your risk of contracting the Corona virus, with a note, cloth masks are worn properly and accompanied by other preventive measures.

If you have a fever accompanied by a sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath, especially if in the last 14 days you are close to someone who is positively infected by the Corona virus or is in an endemic area of COVID-19, do self-isolation immediately and call the COVID-19 hotline at 119 Ext. 9 to get further direction.

To find out how likely you have been infected with Corona virus, try the Corona Virus Risk Check feature that has been provided free by Alodokter.

If you have questions regarding Corona virus infection, both regarding symptoms and COVID-19 prevention measures, don't hesitate to chat to the doctor directly on the Alodokter app. You can also make a doctor's appointment at the hospital through this application.