In the 1994 movie "The Mask," Jim Carrey's character — a mild-mannered bank clerk named Stanley Ipkiss — is transformed into a hyped-up superhero when he dons a vivid green mask.
Fortunately, wearing a protective nonmedical mask doesn't make you manic, but it does make you a hero. That's because it reinforces the benefits of social distancing and helps you protect yourself, your loved ones, your neighbor, and the country from the spread of COVID-19.
But it is vital that you know how to use your cloth mask so it is not a potential source of viral transmission.
1. Use high thread-count fabric. It should be tight across your chin, nose, and cheeks, but not touching your lips. If it touches your lips and virus droplets permeate the mask, they can enter your mouth. And vice versa, if you are infected (but maybe don't know it) — your moist lips can transfer the virus to the outer side of the mask and out into the air.
2. Do not touch the mask with your hands.
3. Wash it after every use. (Have a backup.) Remove with the ear straps and place directly into the washing machine. Then wash your hands well. You can also put it in an air-tight plastic bag for 72 hours — that’s how long it takes the virus to die.