Importance Of Wearing Masks And Gloves In Indoor Commercial Places

By Dr Prashanth R Reddy - Consultant ENT & Endoscopic Skull Base Surgeon, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

People are taking all the recommended precautions and trying their best to stay safe and away from the coronavirus. It is hard to believe that we are dealing with a pandemic without any medication or vaccine or treatment even with all the advancements made in the field of medicine. But as a doctor, I want to tell you that things take time. The spread of this virus was so rapid that the experts had no chance to get to the core of it. However, the research is still on. Things should start unraveling soon, but until then, it’s only wise to stick to the measures proposed by the authorities.

All the measures like washing hands, using sanitizers, staying indoors, etc. are quite clear, but I see people confused or unsure about the usage of masks and gloves. First thing’s first, the general public do not need to wear a surgical mask. Please save them for the medical professionals as there’s a scarcity of them. A normal, clean cotton mask will be good enough, also reduces the land pollution as the mask can be washed with soap and water and be reused unlike the one time use disposable surgical masks.

People are also confused about where to wear it. They wear a mask outdoors but tend to remove it when they are at a commercial store or any other closed place. You should know that commercial places like your supermarkets are hotspots and the chances of you being infected there are quite high.

A supermarket is a place where there are multiple people interacting. It may not be a direct physical interaction, but you are interacting with others. You pick up things to inspect them before buying, you place them back if you don’t like them and someone else picks them up to check. The baskets and trolleys too are high contact surfaces which are not fully sterilized. You then touch your face and mouth and increase the chances of getting yourself infected. If you wear a mask you won’t touch your face, which means the chances of the virus infecting you is reduced.

Similarly, if you wear a pair of gloves, it nullifies your direct contact with any external entity, it reduces the chances of you touching your face by 99%. The reason for this is there are impulses that tell your brain there is something on the hand and it shouldn’t be touching the face directly. And this, in turn, decreases the chances of infection.

Gloves and masks act as barriers between you and the micro viruses that are buoyant inside the commercial places. Since most of these markets are closed and are air-conditioned, there is no airflow or ventilation which keeps these viruses stagnant in the air for nearly 8 hours. You can imagine, if an infected person who did not have a mask on sneezes or coughs in such a place, infects the entire place, and later, if you visit that same store without a mask on, you are likely to be infected as the virus is still present in the air. Therefore, there must be no compromises made when it comes to wearing masks and gloves, especially in indoor commercial places, you wear them whenever you pay a visit to any such stores.

Dr Prashanth R Reddy,
Consultant ENT & Endoscopic Skull Base Surgeon, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital

Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.

Tags: Coronavirus   

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