Now that masks are mandatory in shops within England, here are Diverse Abilities’ top tips for proper mask etiquette. All children in England aged 11 and over will also be required to wear masks, in Scotland it’s aged 5 and over.
- Make sure you have thoroughly washed your hands with soap or an alcohol-based hand gel before putting your mask on
- If you have a reusable mask – keep it clean! Pop it in the wash when you get home and have a few on rotation if possible
- If you have a disposable mask, make sure to dispose responsibly when you get home – they cannot be recycled
- Your mask should always cover your mouth and nose
- Some masks have an adjustable part on the bridge of your nose, pinch this for a snug fit
- If you have glasses, or sunglasses, ensure it’s as snug as possible to avoid fogging up and place your glasses over the mask
- Adjustable straps? Make sure they’re tied so the mask is snug, you want to make sure there’s no gaps between the fabric and your face, but don’t make it too tight
- Once it’s on, don’t touch it until you take it off!
Treat your mask like your socks, don’t re-wear them without washing but have a few available for switching around. Disposable masks are often sold in large packs, so these should tide you over for a while, work out how many you need and avoid bulk buying unnecessary amounts.
In a medical setting, masks should only be worn for a few hours at a time, switched between patients, or when they get damp. At Diverse Abilities, this has meant a considerable extra cost over the past few months. We’ve reshuffled our teams to create their own ‘bubbles’ of support so that we can remain as efficient as possible in delivering high standards of care.
Over the past four months, we’ve spent in excess of £19,000 on PPE alone. This is on top of our ordinary running costs, at a time when we cannot hold our usual fundraising events.
We’ve been very lucky to be supported by businesses in our community, like this very magazine, and the folks at The Hambledon Gallery (Blandford) who are currently selling a selection of masks where the profits are donated to us – so far we’ve received more than £500! There’s a range of designs in Liberty London fabrics, and an excellent frog design for children (that also comes in adult sizes!), visit https://hambledongallery.co.uk/product-category/bath-body/face-masks/ to shop the range online.
There are still more costs to come as we continue to get through this, many of the people we support will be shielding in isolation for months and we are committed to continue providing them with the best possible quality of life. All this comes at a cost, and if you are in a place to make a donation, then we would really appreciate anything you can spare. Visit https://diverseabilities.org.uk/emergency and donate today.