If you do venture out wearing masks and gloves, here’s how to clean them, when to dispose of them, and why you ultimately shouldn’t fear harboring the coronavirus on the rest of your clothes. Photograph by Bobby Doherty, National Geographic
By Sarah Gibbens, Nat Geo
Wearing a mask in public once meant you were dressed for Halloween or to rob a bank. Yet in a few short months, because of COVID-19, this clothing item has evolved into everyday wear.
The World Health Organization recommends wearing a surgical mask—the type found in hospitals—if you feel ill or are caring for a sick person. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention go further and advise a cloth covering for anyone venturing into a crowded public place. Some people are exceeding those official guidelines and also wearing reusable or disposable gloves in public.
Experts warn, however, that misusing any of this protective gear could potentially expose you to just as many germs as you would contact without it—because the masks and gloves themselves collect viruses if they’re not cleaned or changed frequently, and because they may then contaminate your hands or things that you later touch without protection. Read more >>