There’s been a lot of debate about whether wearing face masks can help slow the COVID-19 outbreak. Canadian hospitals continue to face shortages of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and many are asking the public for donations. There’s no question about it: We need to make sure frontline workers are the ones getting medical-grade PPE. But non-medical face masks are still an important way the rest of us can continue to slow the spread of the virus.
The government has stated that while a non-medical mask or face covering isn’t proven to protect the wearer, it *can* reduce the spread of the wearer’s potentially infectious respiratory droplets—don’t forget, it’s possible you’re a silent carrier of COVID-19 even if you don’t have symptoms. For this reason, it’s a good idea to wear a mask, especially in situations where staying two metres away from everyone isn’t always possible. The mask should be well-secured and made of two layers of tightly woven fabric like cotton or linen.
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Make sure to wash your mask when it arrives, and keep washing it after each use. Here’s the government’s guide to safely putting on and removing a mask. Remember: It doesn’t replace physical distancing. Continue to stay two metres from others whenever possible, and keep washing your hands frequently, and coughing or sneezing into your elbow.
Many Canadian companies have stepped up to create stylish reusable non-medical face masks while donating to organizations that need our help right now. So for your next trip to the grocery store, grab one of these made-in-Canada masks and do your part in more ways than one. Due to high demand, some of these are currently sold out but will restock soon.
Face Masks That Give Back
Olive + Splash
Burlington, Ont. designer Melanie Wong creates handmade, hypoallergenic bamboo cotton masks from repurposed fabrics. Sizes include toddler, children/small adult, medium adult and large adult. Proceeds go directly into making more masks that are donated to front-line and community workers. You can order the masks to be shipped or pick them up at the brand's warehouse drive-through.
Bamboo Face Mask, $25, oliveandsplash.com