3 Easy Steps
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Wash The Masks
This is extremely important!
Masks can only add protection if they are kept clean. Wash every mask you make with warm, soapy water and let it dry before dropping it off. If the material allows for it, iron the mask for extra precaution – heat kills the virus!
AT FRESH STOP @ CALTEX
How To Make a Mask
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What The Numbers Say
AS PER WWW.SACORONAVIRUS.CO.ZA
Positive Cases Identified
SEPARATING FACTS FROM FICTION
A cloth/fabric mask, if worn, used properly and kept clean, can offer the following protection for residents:
- The mask will reduce the transmission of droplets from the source (any person coughing, sneezing or even speaking)
- It will reduce inhaling a large number of droplets from others
- Will reduce exposure in overcrowded areas such as taxis, shops or government buildings
- Will create awareness around Covid-19
- Inexpensive and can be produced in large under clear specifications
- Usage guidelines applied
At the outset it is important to distinguish between medical masks, or N95 respirators, and cloth masks (either home-made or procured).
One of the Western Cape Department of Health’s top priorities is to ensure that our front-line healthcare workers, who are caring for those with Covid-19, have the required N95 respirators and/or medical masks so that they are protected when undertaking their duties and helping us save lives.
There is a global shortage of these masks so we please urge all residents to not obtain or use these, so that we can ensure enough supply to the frontline healthcare workers in our hospitals and clinics.
Cloth masks can be used by both the community and non-healthcare workers and where there is no physical contact. This includes:
- Travel to and from work in public transport
- When stepping outside the house to go shopping or seeking healthcare
- In self isolation when contact with others is necessary (remember distancing)
- When stopping and talking to members of the public (for example, traffic police)
- When conducting interviews during house to house visits (for example, Community workers)
- When cleaning the streets/ disposing of domestic rubbish
The usage of any type of mask should be accompanied by strictly adhering to safe use guidelines. Wash your hands before applying and after removing a mask, never touch the cloth part, never fiddle with it whilst wearing, refrain from touching your face. Discard disposable masks. Wash cloth masks with warm soapy water and iron when dry.
It is very important that residents use a cloth mask properly. If they do not, it might result in them putting themselves at risk of spreading Covid-19. The simple guidelines to use are:
- Only use a mask that has been cleaned & ironed
- Place the mask with the correct side facing your nose and mouth and covering both well
- Tie the strings behind your head, or if you are using elastic bands, make sure these are tight
- Make sure it fits well. Move it around to get the best fit. Never touch the cloth part.
- Once you have put on the mask, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE again until you take it off
- When you take it off, undo the ties, and carefully fold the mask inside out, hold it by the strings/elastic and place the mask in a container preserved for washing the cloth mask.
- Wash hands thoroughly and dry before doing anything else
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Wearing a face mask is certainly not an iron-clad guarantee that you won’t get sick – viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate masks. However, masks are effective at capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus, and some studies have estimated a roughly fivefold protection versus no barrier alone (although others have found lower levels of effectiveness).
If you are likely to be in close contact with someone infected, a mask cuts the chance of the disease being passed on. If you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, or have been diagnosed, wearing a mask can also protect others. Wearing a mask is NOT a substitute for Self-Isolation or staying at home. So masks are crucial for health and social care workers looking after patients and are also recommended for family members who need to care for someone who is ill – ideally both the patient and carer should have a mask.
Wear your mask when leaving home to go to work, essential shopping or for medical care. STAYING HOME STILL YOUR BEST PROTECTION AGAINST THE VIRUS !!
All viruses accumulate mutations over time and the virus that causes Covid-19 is no different. How widespread different strains of a virus become depends on natural selection – the versions that can propagate quickest and replicate effectively in the body will be the most “successful”. This doesn’t necessarily mean most dangerous for people though, as viruses that kill people rapidly or make them so sick that they are incapacitated may be less likely to be transmitted.
Genetic analysis by Chinese scientists of 103 samples of the virus, taken from patients in Wuhan and other cities, suggests that early on two main strains emerged, designated L and S. Although the L strain appeared to be more prevalent than the S strain (about 70% of the samples belonged to the former), the S branch of the virus was found to be the ancestral version.
The team behind this research suggested that this may indicate the L strain is more “aggressive”, either transmitting more easily or replicating faster inside the body. However, this theory is speculative at this stage – there haven’t yet been direct comparisons to see whether people who catch one version of the virus are more likely to pass it on or suffer more severe symptoms.
Many individuals who get coronavirus will experience nothing worse than seasonal flu symptoms, but the overall profile of the disease, including its mortality rate, looks more serious. At the start of an outbreak the apparent mortality rate can be an overestimate if a lot of mild cases are being missed. But Bruce Aylward, a WHO expert, who led an international mission to China to learn about the virus and the country’s response, said this has not been the case with Covid-19. The evidence did not suggest that we were only seeing the tip of the iceberg. If borne out by further testing, this could mean that current estimates of a roughly 1% fatality rate are accurate. This would make Covid-19 about 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu, which is estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year globally.
Most people who are not elderly and do not have underlying health conditions will not become critically ill from Covid-19. But the illness still has a higher chance of leading to serious respiratory symptoms than seasonal flu and there are other at-risk groups – health workers, for instance, are more vulnerable because they are likely to have higher exposure to the virus. The actions that young, healthy people take, including reporting symptoms and following quarantine instructions, will have an important role in protecting the most vulnerable in society and in shaping the overall trajectory of the outbreak.
Scientists were quick out of the gates in beginning development of a vaccine for the new coronavirus, helped by the early release of the genetic sequence by Chinese researchers. The development of a viable vaccine continues apace, with several teams now testing candidates in animal experiments. However, the incremental trials required before a commercial vaccine could be rolled out are still a lengthy undertaking – and an essential one to ensure that even rare side-effects are spotted. A commercially available vaccine within a year would be quick.
THESE ARE THE PEOPLE MAKING THIS POSSIBLE
Digital Drawing Room are proud partners of Let’s Mask SA and are responsible for the creative, brand & web design and online marketing for the initiative. www.digitaldrawingroom.com
Gift of the Givers have kindly donated their time and resource to distribute the masks to the communities who need it most. www.giftofthegivers.org
Fresh Stop have opened their doors to Let’s Mask SA, coming on board as the official drop-off point for the masks. www.freshstop.co.za