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Simple steps to how to wear a mask

I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic isn’t over yet. Many would like to downplay the risks of the virus, but it hasn’t magically disappeared just because we are tired of hearing about it. Many people are still at risk, even in our local community.

Though plenty of people have thankfully made it through being infected without any problems, not everyone is so lucky.

But many people are no longer staying at home now, and life is slowly resuming its normal pace. That’s fine, but we should still be taking precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. I know we can’t always stay at home and we don’t always have enough space to social distance, but we can all protect each other by simply wearing a mask.

It’s really not that hard!

Is it a 100 percent solution? Of course not, but a mask does lower your odds of exposure a lot more than not wearing one does.

So here’s a short step-by-step guide to wearing a mask just to reiterate things we should already know by now.

Step one: Acquire a mask (if you haven’t already received one in the past few months). If you don’t yet have one, many people are giving them away or selling them. You can also be adventurous and make one yourself. All you need is some fabric, thread, elastic, and decent enough sewing skills that you don’t accidentally sew your fingers into the seam. There are plenty of tutorials out there, including some previously printed by this very newspaper.

Step two: Put the mask on your face. More specifically, cover both your nose and mouth. Yes, letting the mask dangle from your ear or just holding your mask in your hand while talking to someone is absolutely ineffectual. I know many of us are a bit self-conscious about this new fashion accessory, but by now we ought to at least know how to wear it right.

Actually, that point brings me to the last step…

Step three: Get comfortable wearing the mask. I’ll be the first to admit I still struggle with this. I’m still not used to it yet. Sometimes I even forget to grab the mask when I go out. But if we can all learn to carry around a purse or wallet and remember to wear pants every morning, we can all learn to wear to a mask as well. Plenty of other parts of the world regularly wore face masks all the time before this even started.

Actually, the last time I had a really bad cold, well over a year ago, I told a friend it’d be nice if wearing a face mask was socially acceptable here in America like it is in several Asian countries. I just wanted an excuse to cover up my terribly red nose so no one else could see it.

Yeah, I know it’s uncomfortable to wear. I know it’s hot and sweaty, especially now during North Carolina’s always-too-humid summer. But let’s face it, wearing a mask is only a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things. The benefits can greatly outweigh the annoyance of it.

We don’t have to “live in fear” of the virus, but we can at least do as much as we can to prevent spreading it around.

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or at 252-332-7206.