White or Blue?



Egypt, like many other countries, has made wearing masks mandatory in several places and conditions as a means for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, several posts have gone viral on social media about the right way to wear masks; yet, many still wonder: is it the white side or the blue side out? Of course, we are talking here about surgical masks.

Some answered ignorantly that you wear the blue side out when you are sick, to keep the contaminated droplets in, and the white side out when you are not, to keep the virus out; this is inaccurate! The only way to wear a mask is with the colored side facing out.

The colored side of the mask, regardless of the color, is hydrophobic to prevent germs from sticking to it, so it is usually the front and should face away. The white side is to absorb the moisture in the air we breathe out, so it touches your face. If you wear the mask the wrong way, the air moisture will stick onto it and allow germs to stay there; as you breathe, germs will move straight to your lungs.

That is why medical consultants have listed the following best practices to follow while putting surgical masks on and off:

  1. Hold the mask with soap-washed and dried hands; wear it with the metal-wired edge on the upper side, and the colored side facing out.
  2. Fully cover your mouth and nose; make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  3. While wearing the mask, avoid touching it; if you accidently do, clean your hands directly.
  4. Remove the mask by holding the ropes or elastic band used to secure it on your head without touching the outside; discard it immediately in a closed bin then wash your hands with soap.
  5. Remember that surgical masks are for single use only; they also must be replaced if they get damp.

Summing up, if you have been using masks the wrong way, you have to fix this; if you are fond of wearing fancy colored masks, make sure that they cohere to the regulations set by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You might be interested to watch this video by the CDC on how to make your own face covering https://youtu.be/tPx1yqvJgf4

Also, check the WHO graphics and videos on how to use masks: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks









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