Essential workers need face masks as part of their personal protective equipment in order to stay safe and carry out their jobs. But for most of the public, masks, especially homemade ones, won’t do much in the way of protecting you against coronavirus. The main reason for wearing a mask would be to protect others if you are unwell.
Social distancing, self-isolating when sick, avoiding touching your face and washing your hands frequently are far more effective measures than just wearing a homemade or poorly worn mask. So if you do decide to wear one, learn how to use it properly – and don’t let it give you a false sense of security. Wearing a mask should always be in addition to the other social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE