How to Wear a Mask

by andrew forsyth

Here are some dos and don’ts of wearing a mask.


DON’T: 

Wear the mask below your nose.


DON’T: 

Leave your chin exposed.


DON’T: 

Wear your mask loosely with gaps on the sides.


DON’T: 

Wear your mask so it covers just the tip of your nose.


DON’T: 

Push your mask under your chin to rest on your neck.


✔️DO: 

Wear your mask so it comes all the way up, close to the bridge of your nose, and all the way down under your chin. Do your best to tighten the loops or ties so it’s snug around your face, without gaps.


And once you’ve figured out the correct position for wearing your mask, follow these tips to stay safe:

  • Always wash your hands before and after wearing a mask.
  • Use the ties or loops to put your mask on and pull it off.
  • Don’t touch the front of the mask when you take it off.
  • If you wear glasses, try moving the bridge a little farther down your nose on top of the mask to reduce fogging or get anti-fog spray to clean them with
  • For apartment dwellers, put the mask on and remove it while inside your home. Elevators and stairwells can be high-contamination areas.
  • Wash and dry your cloth mask daily and keep it in a clean, dry place.
  • Don’t have a false sense of security.

“Wearing a mask takes some getting used to, for sure,” said Dr. Scott Segal, chairman of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health. “You are probably wearing it exactly right if it’s a little stuffy.”

One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they fidget with their masks and pull them under their noses or completely off their faces to rest under their chins.

“You should absolutely not be pulling up and putting down your mask while you’re out,” said Shan Soe-Lin, a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. “If you’re going to go to the trouble of using a mask, leave it on.”

Masks offer limited protection and work better when combined with hand washing and social distancing. “It’s not that one excludes the other,” said Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University. “They compound the effects of the other.”

ILLUSTRATIONS BY ELENI KALORKOTI

Article content from Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times

Mask adjusting instructions

Masks work best when they fit snugly and comfortably. If you have ordered a mask from me, this guide will help you get a great fit. If you have any trouble, please drop me a line at kate@kate-harris.com or find me on Instagram or Twitter: @notthatkate or message me through my Facebook: facebook.com/notthatkate/

Step 1

Slide an unfolded paperclip (provided) into the pocket at the nose bridge.

Step 2

Put the mask up to your face and adjust the nose clip.

Step 3

Find where the ear straps need to be tied – pinch the two ends together behind your ear where the elastic feels comfortable. Take the mask off and tie an overhand knot using both ends where you’ve pinched it together (how-to: https://www.animatedknots.com/flat-overhand-bend-knot). Repeat on other side. Snip loose ends off, leaving about 1cm of tail. Guide the knot into the fabric channel to get it out of the way (optional).

Step 4 (optional)

If your mask is too snug around your chin after you’ve adjusted everything, you can easily (but carefully) remove the pleats along the jawline with a small pair of scissors or a seam ripper.

image of the inside of a mask with a seam ripper and small pair of scissors showing the location of the stitches that can be removed, if needed, to adjust fit.

Help! It still doesn’t fit!!

Get in touch with me through any of the channels listed above and we will figure out what went wrong, and I will make it right.

it has been a while

image of an open blank lined notebook page overlaid with text.
in brush font "it has been a while"
below in sans serif font: "so far 2019 has been a bit shit, so I've been hiding under my duvet - sue me"