A guide to mask etiquette

Saharla Mohamoud, ETC. Editor

With WSHS making plans for students to return to school, and COVID-19 cases in VA soaring up close to 600 thousand, it’s more important than ever that everyone does their part in containing the virus. Wearing a mask correctly is an essential part of doing so.

“There’s a pandemic happening,” said junior Darlene Dao, “we must wear a mask to keep others safe and ourselves safe.”

According to the CDC, masks should be worn in any public setting, that includes public transport, social gatherings, or anyplace with people present. The CDC, however, also firmly states that masks aren’t a substitute for social distancing.

“It’s the best way to stop the spread of corona,” said junior Rachel Teclesenbet.

If one decides to wear a face gaiter, make sure to wear two layers instead of one. Wearing a face shield as an alternative for a mask isn’t recommended by the CDC, but wearing one paired with a mask is effective.The CDC also warns against wearing a scarf, ski mask, or balaclava as a substitute for a mask. Wearing one over a mask, however, is considered safe and ideal for winter weather. 

Masks are also not supposed to be a substitute for proper hygiene, so continue to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, and use hand sanitizer when handling your mask.

One of the most important parts of wearing a mask in the first place is making sure it properly fits. According to the CDC, a mask is supposed to be secure on your face, which could be achieved by either just putting the masks on regularly, or tying the loops in order to tighten them. If your mask isn’t the perfect fit after adjusting it, or if you find yourself having to fix it constantly, it’s recommended that you try out a different brand or size.

When it comes to actually wearing a mask, make sure that your mask is completely covering your nose and mouth at all times, no matter the circumstance. A mask only protects one from COVID when it is worn in this way. Allowing it to slip under your nose, on your chin, or only cover one part of your face is just putting yourself and others in danger.

“It’s been almost a year,” said junior Jessica Faruque, “People should know how to correctly wear a mask by now.”

When taking off a mask, the CDC instructs one to take it off only using the loops, to fold the outside corners of it, and to sanitize or wash their hands immediately after.

For any reusable mask, it’s recommended to wash it with regular laundry. Make sure to use regular laundry detergent and the higher water setting appropriate to the cloth of the mask, and leave it in the dryer until it’s completely dry.

COVID-19 is a long way from ever being gone, and a time where everything could go back to ‘normalcy’ is becoming

more and more figurative to some, but Faruque believes that following directions from the CDC is the key.

“Stay home whenever you can, wear a mask, and wash your hands,” said Faruque, “Just be responsible.”