Tips to Stay Cool Wearing Your Mask This Summer
We have been battling against COVID since the beginning of this year when it spread throughout the globe—ultimately affecting and claiming millions of lives.
However, we have a trusted weapon that has been widely used and has been proven effective, which is the mask. Wearing masks has been part of our daily routine to protect ourselves and our loved ones from being infected by the pandemic, especially those who are old and have a weak immune system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), the risk of getting infected increases as you grow older, as you are more likely to have an underlying medical condition that can worsen your immune system’s current state—thus making you more vulnerable to the dangers attached to COVID-19. With this in mind, it solidifies the need to wear masks, as well as to practice senior mask safety.
Additionally, a study also showed how masks catch almost all mucus droplets ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers, proving further its significance in preventing the spread of the virus.
However, given that wearing masks for a long period can be irritating to many, particularly when it’s summertime—with issues of difficulty in breathing, sweaty faces, and rashes at the back of your ears, we tend to ditch wearing them. But given how important they are in battling this pandemic, here are ways to wear your mask comfortably despite the summer heat.
1. Wear Light-Colored Masks
Whenever the summer season starts, light-colored clothes are considered as the trend by the majority. That’s because light-colored fabric tends to absorb heat less than dark-colored fabric, making clothes lighter to wear. The same goes for masks.
In an experiment conducted to further prove this claim, it was seen how a light blue surgical mask recorded 94 degrees while the black mask had a reading of 105 degrees in the remote thermometer, with the experiment conducted on a 74 degrees day.
Resorting to a light-colored mask may ease feelings of stuffiness that many may experience while wearing a mask, especially senior citizens. Wearing a brighter mask may also lead to less irritation over longer periods of time.
2. Pick the Right Mask
If you aren’t in the medical frontlines, then picking the mask that provides the most comfort while protecting you from the virus is one of the factors you should consider. That way, you’ll more likely find yourself wearing them for quick errands or necessary appointments. For elderly people, it might be a much-needed trip to the doctor. Wearing a mask that’s unbreathable may result in you removing them due to discomfort, thus exposing you to the virus outside.
In choosing a comfortable mask, cotton is the best way to go as it is a breathable fabric.
But on the contrary, it tends to soak up your sweat, thus creating a humid environment between your mouth and the mask itself.
It is advised by the CDC that the best fabric that should be used is tightly woven cotton, for it is thick enough not to absorb bodily fluids instantly. Having masks made of such fabric may give you the protection and comfort you need. In case you have sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema, lighter cotton fabrics may work in preventing your skin from flaring up.
3. Practice Wearing It at Home
Try to get used to the feeling of wearing a mask before going out. You can prep yourself by already wearing it at least five minutes before going out to familiarize yourself with the humidity on the lower parts of your face, letting you adjust to the increased temperature you may encounter once you go out.
You can also try some breathing exercises. You can do this by slowing your breathing and inhaling and exhaling gently, concentrating on how oxygen is getting through your lungs. This is to introduce you to the concept of slow breathing once you use the mask, as air tends to slowly enter your lungs because of the barrier that the mask provides.
4. Limit Your Time Outside
This practice applies the most to elderly people, as they are the most susceptible to the virus, considering their weak immune system and other medical conditions that come with old age. Staying outside for a short time not only reduces the risk of exposing yourself to the virus but also reduces the time required for you to wear a mask.
Try planning your supply runs and errands in the most efficient way possible, as well as thinking of fun activities to do at home to avoid the desire of doing outdoor activities. In case you experience humidity and heat because of your mask, it is advisable to use ice packs and apply them to your forehead or neck to cool off. Also, always remember to hydrate regularly to replenish and refresh yourself from the summer heat doubled by your mask.
5. Bring an Extra One
Adding another piece of a mask to your bag doesn’t hurt if it is for your safety. There are days wherein the humidity and heat are out of control; thus you may experience excessive sweating and difficulty in breathing. On such occasions, it’s better to bring an extra one instead of just using one mask that is drenched from sweat and spit. If you are a particularly sweaty person, packing multiple masks may also be a great alternative instead of not wearing a mask at all. Just keep in mind that when you change your mask, avoid crowds to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Elderly people’s health and wellness are essential, especially at times like this. Reminding them of the importance of wearing a mask despite the summer heat and giving them tips is a must to maintain their healthy physique. That’s why having proper protocols for protecting seniors from the virus is a top priority at Vista at Simi Valley, as well as providing them the comfort they deserve along the way.