Face Masks and Face Coverings Against Covid-19
Face masks or face coverings are key in our fight against Covid-19. As they are such a new thing for general use there are many questions around them:
What’s the difference between the two different types – face masks and face coverings? Should you wear one and if so when? How should you wear them? How can you make your own face covering? What sorts of face coverings or masks can you buy and which is the best one for you?
(3 min read).
What’s The Difference Between a Face Covering and a Face Mask?
A face covering is a piece of material which covers your mouth and nose; it is used to help stop you spreading disease such as the Coronavirus. It does not necessarily protect you from catching it. A face mask, however, is personal protective equipment (PPE) used by medical workers, other workers and patients to stop them catching and/or spreading germs or viruses as well as or for other industrial protection.
Medical face masks should be reserved for health workers and other workers who need them. There are different grades but all face masks must comply to certain standards in order to ensure the wearer is well-protected. The most protective mask is the FFP3 or alternatively the N95 or FFP2.
Face coverings , however, do not have any specific standards to comply to – you can even make your own. They are worn by members of the public and along with social distancing and regular hand-washing help stop the virus spreading.
Should I Wear a Face Mask or Face Covering?
We can see through social media that it has become normal for people in many countries around the world to wear face coverings when out and about. Different countries have different rules or recommendations for different situations. But it is all about helping to stop the spread of Covid-19. Here in England, whilst face masks are essential for care workers and patients, there has been less of a push on face coverings for healthy members of the public… until now.
New Advice on Face Coverings in England
New government advice in England now is for us to wear face coverings in some enclosed places. This includes on public transport and in shops as these are places where we may find ourselves near people we don’t know. This is to stop us spreading covid-19 in case we have it but don’t realise. (If we have symptoms we shouldn’t be out anyway of course!).
When is it Not Necessary to Wear a Face Covering?
It is not necessary to wear a face covering in the following situations:
- When outside or exercising.
- If you have breathing problems while wearing them.
Is it Okay for Children to Wear Face Coverings?
Children under the age of two years should not wear face coverings. Older children should only wear them if they are able to manage them correctly.
How Should You Wear a Face Mask or Face Covering?
For PPE medical face masks, users should be instructed how to wear and dispose of them effectively. See this poster by the World Health Organisation for further information.
For face coverings – which members of the public will be increasingly wearing out and about – see the tips below on how to wear and clean or dispose of them safely.
Tips for Using a Face Covering
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on.
- Make sure it covers your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.
- Take care to tuck away any loose ends.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times.
AFTER WEARING YOUR FACE COVERING:
- Store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them if reusable, or dispose of them if not.
- Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose.
- Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched.
- Wash reusable face coverings regularly. They can go in with other laundry, using your normal detergent.
How to Make Your Own Face Covering
- You can make your own face covering with materials you can find at home. Different types of cloth can be used. Tightly woven cottons or twill, natural silk or quilted cotton material seem to be good materials to use see this research.
- You can use a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.
- See this Tiktok via twitter on how to convert a sock into a face covering!
- For more details on how to make a face covering from a t-shirt or fabric, with or without sewing, take a look at this BBC article
- To make a face covering with a see-through front, eg to enable lip reading see this information from the National Deaf Children’s Society.
What sort of face coverings can I buy
Most face coverings, unlike face masks, are reusable (more eco friendly). They can be plain, patterned or if you are ordering a lot can be custom printed. Styles vary – for example the ‘loop round the ears’ or ‘pull up’ are two types. Colours can be whatever you want them to be – from vibrant bright to neutral tones to near-match skin shades (popular with women). Here are two which we offer here at BrandMyThingy.com: Printed Pull up Face Covering and Printed Face Covering with Full Colour Print.
Branded Face Coverings as a Campaign Resource
Face coverings can serve a dual purpose – printed with a campaign message or logo they are a very visible way to promote a brand or message or to identify company employees such as delivery drivers.
- They can be used as a marketing giveaway to customers or potential customers – particularly important for businesses needing to re-engage with their target market as we come out of lockdown.
- When deciding the print design take into account the fact that the design will be very prominent when worn so a bit of subtlety may be preferred. A small, simple logo in the corner on a face covering may be more appealing and therefore effective than a logo all over. Or maybe you’ll choose to go really big and full on with the design… literally ‘in your face’!
- Other design ideas: try using a random mix of small images or your corporate brand elements to represent your campaign theme or message.
- Or choose a near-skin tone to keep it really subtle.
For advice on bulk orders of custom-branded or unprinted face coverings, please get in touch and I will be happy to help.
Did you know? 100% of profits from BrandMyThingy.com sales go towards supporting Brightkidz – promoting safe, active, sustainable everyday travel. BrandMyThingy and Brightkidz are part of Safe Kids Walking Ltd, a NatWest SE100 index top UK social enterprise.