Liputan6.com, Jakarta- The increase in cases of the new corona virus (Covid-19) in Indonesia has made the government enforce a regulation that requires the use of masks in public places to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.
However, behind the obligation to use masks, various myths arise about the use of one of these personal protective equipment.
Reporting from hopkinsallchildrens.org, pediatric infectious disease specialist Matthew Thomas, MD, debunked some of the latest myths about masks, and talked about why masks are safe to use and an important part of containing the spread of COVID-19 in society.
Here are 6 facts from the myths about masks:
Myth: masks actually do nothing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Masks reduce the risk of spreading viruses, such as Covid-19, by limiting respiratory fluids that spread through the nose or mouth. How well masks help the spread of COVID-19 is still being studied. However, based on data from other viruses using masks can reduce the spread and thus reduce new infections. When talking, sneezing, coughing or singing, small particles of fluid, called respiratory droplets, are released from the mouth or nose. Some of these droplets are large enough to see, but many of them are too small to see. Covid-19 spreads through these droplets.
If you wear a mask, it will reduce the amount of fluid that spreads from the nose and mouth to the environment around us. If we are sick or carry a virus, wearing a mask also reduces the number of viruses around us. If there are fewer viruses in the environment, the chances of getting sick from Covid-19 decrease. The more people wear masks and face covers, the less likely they are to catch the virus. Masks are only effective if they are worn properly and cover the mouth and nose.
Myth: wearing a cloth mask will lead to carbon dioxide poisoning.
When we exhale, carbon dioxide leaves the lungs and leaves the body through the nose or mouth. Carbon dioxide is a gas consisting of small molecules. These molecules are so small that they can pass through many materials, including the materials used to make masks. If we use cloth or medical grade masks, carbon dioxide will enter safely. It won’t accumulate in the mask or make us sick.
Myth: Wearing a cloth mask will cause mold to build up in it.
Cloth masks can be safely used more than once if we wash them daily. Proper washing of cloth masks will remove any viruses, bacteria, or respiratory secretions that may have accumulated on the mask. We should wash the cloth mask with soap and water when we are done using it for the day. It must be completely dry before using it again. A clean, dry mask will not cause mold or cause pain.
Myth: Only sick people can wear masks.
If we are healthy, we don’t need it. Some people with Covid-19, or another virus, will look sick. However, many people with Covid-19 may not show symptoms, which means they feel very well. The asymptomatic patient feels well and appears fine to others. They can still spread the virus to other people and therefore can make other people sick. While the Covid-19 pandemic continues, both healthy and sick people should wear a mask or face covering when around other people to prevent the spread of the virus.
Myth: If you already wear a mask, you don’t need to physically distance yourself.
Masks are a simple and easy defense against the spread of Covid-19. However, these defenses were imperfect. Think of masks as one of the tools in the toolbox to protect us and our families from COVID-19, keeping physical distancing is another way. Respiratory droplets can sometimes leave the nose or mouth, through a mask, and into the environment. Drops can also spread around the mask if they don’t fit properly. To protect ourselves from these droplets, it takes 6 feet of physical distance between us and others, even when a mask is worn.
Myth: There’s no point asking kids to wear masks because they won’t wear them consistently.
Wearing a mask may be difficult for young children, those with intellectual disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory sensitivities. If possible, children who cannot wear masks should avoid being around other people. For children under 2 years of age, masks are generally not recommended as children are less likely to keep them on. For older children, we should try to make the child wear a mask whenever they are around other people.
If your child can only use a mask for a short time, ask your child to wear a mask when he is most at risk of being around other people or when it is difficult to keep 6 feet away from other people.
Children learn by imitating the actions of others. One of the most important ways for children to wear masks is to wear masks for parents and other caregivers. It is important to wear the mask properly – it should cover the nose and mouth.
Wear a mask, wash hands with soap, keep your distance and avoid crowds.
Always take care of your health, don’t get infected and take care of our family.