‘Bandana’ mask, wrist or chin strap, the virologist’s warning

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by Margherita Lopes

If the mask in these months of pandemic has become an indispensable accessory, the Italic fantasy has gone wild. Fabric specimens of all shapes and colors are now found. And, with increasingly high temperatures, it is not uncommon to see people who wear it in a curious way: there are those who wear it on the wrist, elbow or forearm, who keep it lowered under the chin, and who even like a sort of bandana on the forehead. “The mask is still an important protection to protect ourselves and others from Covid-19. And, as President Mattarella recalled authoritatively, we must not confuse our freedom with the right to make others sick. On the other hand, I I realize that it can become a problem to store it when you are not wearing it. But be careful: if not properly managed, the mask becomes contaminated and becomes an ally of the virus, “University of Milan virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco tells Adnkronos Salute.

“By now they are seen in all colors – admits the virologist – many people don’t really know where to put it. But wearing it as a bandana or a ‘chin strap’ is the worst thing: it gets contaminated and becomes wet with heat and sweat. Then we put it on our face and we give a gift to the virus “. Wearing it on the wrist, elbow or forearm is also not good. “And not even keeping it in your pocket: the most contaminated part, unless we are positive, is the external one and therefore you could contaminate your pocket”. What to do then? “I am convinced that the mask must be managed like sunglasses: it must be used when it is appropriate and correct, that is, covering the nose and mouth, while when not in use it must be kept in a container”, concludes Pregliasco.

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