Mask for Mask: A Guide for How to Reenter Society
While many Americans are beginning to lower their guard when venturing out, the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t ended yet. Wearing a mask all the time can be a hassle, so it’s understandable that people are eager to leave them behind. Unfortunately, however, the time for masks isn’t over yet.
If you want to help protect yourself, your loved ones and the loved ones of others, there are things you should be aware of as your town or city re-opens. This is what you need to know.
Take Care While Exercising
Exercise (or lack thereof) has many Americans itching to leave their homes. Physical activity is not only good for your general health, but also mental well-being and possibly even fending off some of the most dangerous symptoms of COVID-19. However, exercise also poses unique challenges for public safety — and not just your own.
The Many Ways You Can Wear a Mask Wrong
It’s no secret that masks can get uncomfortable. However, many of the ways people wear masks to get around that can completely defeat the purpose of wearing one. If worn too loosely or over the mouth but not the nose, your mask won’t do anything to prevent the spread of droplets from your nose or mouth. While your mask shouldn’t be tight, it shouldn’t be so loose that it fails to stay in place, and it must cover your nose to be effective. If you have a respiratory issue or other condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, you shouldn’t go out where there could be people at all if possible.
Don't Reuse Disposable Gloves
Gloves sure can be … handy. As you begin to reenter society, gloves can let you interact with the world around you with a certain degree of safety. However, when you end up touching your shopping cart, your phone and your clothing with the same pair of gloves, you're not really allowing them to do much protecting. Instead, you’re spreading germs from place to place, which can be a risk for both you and others.
Remember That the World Has Changed
Perhaps the most important thing you can do as society reopens is simply remembering that the pandemic isn’t over yet. There may not be anyone to hold you accountable if you break safety guidelines (other than strangers giving you side-eye, of course), but you should still follow them, no matter how easy it might be to think that things have returned to normal. For instance, a meal at a restaurant may seem like a return to normalcy, but you shouldn’t forget to wash your hands before eating anything with your bare hands, and you don’t want to crowd together in a booth with people outside your household. Above all, you should take care to always give people space — even in narrow aisles or other spaces, and even when it might inconvenience you for a few seconds or even minutes.