Protecting each other

by Dr Wirin Bhatiani

Hopefully we’re all getting used to wearing a face covering on public transport, in shops, when visiting our GP practice or hospital, and in other places.

It probably felt strange at first, but it’s important to remember why we are doing this: coronavirus has not gone away and we all need to play our part to prevent a second spike.

A face covering can be as simple as a scarf, bandana or religious garment.

Reusable and single-use face coverings are widely available or you can make your own from an old cotton T-shirt, pillow case or duvet. There are lots of simple patterns online and you don’t have to be good at sewing!

Whatever face covering you use, make sure it covers your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably - and don’t push it up onto your forehead or pull it down onto your chin.

Wash your hands, or use hand sanitiser, before putting on a face covering and after taking it off – and only handle the straps or ties.

Avoid handling the part which touches your mouth and nose – it could be contaminated with the virus. Change your face covering if it gets damp or you’ve touched it, and don’t share a face covering with someone else.

You can put a re-usable face covering in with your regular wash – discard disposable ones in the non-recycling bin after you’ve used them once.

Please be aware that some people are exempt from wearing face coverings for health, age or other reasons which might not always be obvious.

It is also essential that we continue to follow other measures to help stop the spread of coronavirus: social distancing, regular hand washing, and self-isolating and getting tested if we develop symptoms.

More information about making and wearing face coverings is available here.

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