How to Properly Wear a Face Mask

Posted by Steve Reble on

Okay, you've got yourself a face mask... now what?

I know what you're thinking:

"you just put it on and out you go, right?"

Not quite. Fortunately for us, as soon as we started our 'buy one <> donate one' campaign, Tabitha - a customer who is a family doctor - reached out and made us promise to tell everyone how to properly use them because as she said: "While it seems simple, it's exceedingly hard to do...".

So here's a great guide from the New York Times, by Tara Parker-Pope, "How NOT to Wear a Mask", April 8th, 2020, (Illustrations by Eleni Kalorkot).

  1. Always wash your hands before and after wearing a mask.
  2. Use the ties or loops to put your mask on and pull it off.
  3. Don’t touch the front of the mask when you take it off.
  4. For apartment dwellers, put the mask on and remove it while inside your home. Elevators and stairwells can be high-contamination areas.
  5. Wash and dry your cloth mask daily and keep it in a clean, dry place.
  6. Don’t have a false sense of security.

Masks offer limited protection, and work better when combined with hand washing and social distancing. “It’s not that one excludes the other,” said Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. “They compound the effects of the other.”

And here's what our customer 'Dr. Tabitha' had to say from her personal experience:

"Have you worn a mask for an entire day out? Or even for a few hours to run errands?

Once you put that mask on your clean face, it absolutely must remain there until you are prepared to take it off for good and wash it at home. Seems simple, but it is exceedingly hard to do....

One walk through an airport or a grocery store for me and I see masks down around people’s neck, on their forehead, behind their head, in their hands, on their lap while they eat...only to go right back over their mouth moments later, simply tracking germs all over their body and giving them a nice little ride right over their mouth.

It is extremely challenging to wear a mask, even as a physician who wears them often and understands the importance, I am so often tempted to touch or readjust my mask if wearing one, so it is entirely understandable that the general public would feel this too."


So with that in mind, here's how - according to that same New York Times Article - you should NOT wear a mask (again, Illustrations by Eleni Kalorkot)



So there you have it, now the next time you absolutely have to go out, do it with the knowledge of how your actions - even if you feel healthy - can help flatten the curve of this nasty virus.

Want to join our buy one <> donate one mask project?  



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  • As an RN, I have worn masks for longer than I care to remember. Thank you for this blog on putting g them on properly. I have been making my own masks and I usually include a metal strip for the nose bridge. However, these don’t wash well. It could be helpful to leave an opening on the side in the topstitching for people to put in their own, like they do for filters. 1 or 2 twist ties work well for a single use.

    Wendy McGregor on

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