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Could Your Mask Put YOU at Risk? 8 Doctors Agree on How to Wear a Mask Correctly

how to wear a mask

Way back in early February, before people in America really knew about the novel coronavirus now called COVID-19, Influenza A and B both went through our elementary school like wildfire.

RELATED: What is a virus?

The kindergarten wing was hit particularly hard, and one day when I came in to volunteer with small group centers, more than a third of my son Gabe’s class was absent. 

I finished playing Uno with my four eerily small groups of children and went to tell Gabe goodbye.

After sanitizing with the natural hand sanitizer I had with me, I smooched the top of his head and said, “See you after school, buddy – wash your hands a lot and don’t touch your face!” 

The little girl next to Gabe looked up at me and, curiosity in her voice, asked, “Why? Why not touch his face?”

I reacted in surprise, not realizing at the time that apparently most people didn’t yet know this. “That’s where germs can get into your body, through the holes on your face,” I stammered. Not the most eloquent explanation, I know!

I clarified with a few more sentences, and she nodded very solemnly, eyes wide, then said slowly, keeping very still:

“I’m trying not to touch my face…but my forehead itches!” 

It was a hilarious story that I told many times in the next week, but in retrospect, it has more foreboding. 

Who would have guessed at that time that “Don’t touch your face” would become part of the national lexicon and that handwashing for 30 seconds would finally join our collective habits?

washing hands

I was ahead of my time with that advice, and those two are definitely the best and most proven practices to reduce the spread of contagious disease

Face coverings (i.e. masks) are the new player in the game, at least here in America. 

RELATED: Healthy home cooking, quarantine edition & How to handle pandemic stress.

“If We’re Going to Wear Masks, We’re Going to Do it Right”

I’ve been saying that to my family this month after we learned that our kids would be required to wear masks all day at school.

Although we considered keeping them home to avoid the masks, we chose to send 3 of our 4 kids in person, so I’ve been training them “how to wear a mask” as I learned from Elisa Song, MD, in her wonderful online program Integrative & Functional Medicine Strategies for the Pandemic. (You can get a taste via her free pandemic masterclass HERE.)

“Earloops only!” I’ll belt as we get out of the van. 

“Hang it up, fingers away from the inside!” come the instructions as we return to the van. 

My husband started questioning my vigilance

I know you have good intentions, dear, but I’m not hearing ANYone else say this. I’ve never seen an article about it. The government doesn’t seem to be saying anything other than ‘face coverings required.’ Don’t you think people would be shouting this far and wide if it really was important?”

I decided to reach out to my colleagues who are medical doctors and ask them what they thought

They agreed – with both of us. 

YES, I’m right. There are proper and improper ways to wear masks to protect the wearer (and others around us). 

YES, my husband is right. No one is talking about this — and that’s a real problem!

hand sanitizer and mask

If there aren’t articles going around on every school Facebook page where students are required to wear masks even part of the day, and if parent groups aren’t encouraging each other to do this right IF we’re going to have to do it, then I’m going to write the protocol you can share

Even though mask-wearing is intended to protect others around us from our own potentially contagious bodily fluids if we’re an asymptomatic carrier, we don’t want to invite harm to ourselves in the process!

What is the Purpose of Wearing a Mask During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The CDC says:

Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected, and not to protect you from becoming infected.1

The CDC also states it this way on their page about “How to Wear Masks”:

Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect others in case you’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms.2

This is VERY important to remember, and I know we’ve all heard that a million times, but I think a lot of people still carry the false belief that they themselves are safer with a mask on. 

I was talking to a friend who said an elderly family member of hers did some traveling this summer, “but she was safe, she wore her mask all the time,” she reassured me.

I said, “You know masks are supposed to protect others, right, not ourselves?”

“Of course I do!” she shot back. “But if everyone is wearing them then everyone is safe.”

Well…I really think that this friend and her relative aren’t the only ones who can say with their intellect that masks protect others but somehow believe in their bones that it will protect them

person coughing

My husband pointed out that sometimes we get a lingering cognitive memory somehow that we just can’t shake.

For example, if we’re planning to go to the beach on a Friday, and then something comes up and our plans change, often my brain will still be thinking about the picnic lunch I’m planning to pack for the beach and mentally tallying to make sure I have enough food on hand for all six of us. 

And then THUNK! The actual reality clicks in that we’re no longer going to the beach, and I’ve been wasting brainpower planning out our meal. 

Somehow my brain imprinted the first plan and couldn’t quite overwrite it with the second. 

I believe this is happening to a lot of people with masks

They at some point have believed or learned erroneously that masks would keep them safe from the coronavirus. 

Even though they’ve since learned differently, that masks are really a potential act of service to others, their brain is holding onto that former knowledge and can’t quite overwrite it completely.3

So let’s repeat again what the CDC says: “Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are infected, and not to protect you from becoming infected.”

Also please remember that the masks and social distancing are only supposed to reduce the spread, not eliminate it, as none of these practices are 100% efficient. That’s not even the goal here. 

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CDC: Cloth Masks are Good Enough

The COVID-19 coronavirus is between 0.06-0.12 microns, which is extremely tiny, like 1/40 the width of a human hair!

However, the CDC says cloth masks are enough:

The masks recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.4

In Michigan, our Executive Order from the governor (not a law, which should be noted) requires facial coverings in all public places and for schoolchildren under sixth grade. Cloth masks are allowed, but face shields are not. 

cloth face mask

Our school has gone beyond the state’s minimum requirements for returning to school and will be requiring all ages to wear masks all day long. (source: PDF

I’m nervous about this actually putting my children at risk, bringing pathogens to their faces. 

My concerns aren’t just about “catching corona” as the kids say, but that in general, we’re creating an environment where more germs and toxins are brought directly to their faces because a school (and a child) is not exactly a lab situation with hamsters. 

Quick note: Some folks ARE actually saying officially that mask-wearing may protect the wearer from catching a more severe case of COVID-19, but notice that the only studies are done on hamsters in masked cages who aren’t, ahem, tugging at their mask all day.5 Any real-life scenarios could be confounded by people simply getting better at basic hygiene as the pandemic continues, OR by the virus getting less contagious and less severe naturally, which is the expected course for any new virus. It’s called “reversion to the mean,” according to John M. Barry’s book The Great Influenza.6

Looking for reusable masks? Check out these environmentally friendly options: cotton/linen blend masks, organic cotton masks, hand-sewn cotton masks.

These child-sized organic masks from Etsy are what we bought for some of the kids, and Gabe loves the fit.

Could a Mask be Dangerous for the Person Wearing It? 

I watched a video recently with some health experts recommending universal masking, and they said, “Masks help people touch their faces less.”

Um. 

I’m not sure if I need a study for this, and you don’t either. 

Watch people the next time you’re out in public.

girl wearing a mask correctly and incorrectly

If the average adult touches their face somewhere between 16-23 times an hour, “less” than that should be a significant reduction, perhaps 50%.7

I’m going to take an educated guess that people wearing masks touch their faces at least double those numbers because they’re constantly adjusting their mask and tugging at it! 

Even in a doctor’s office, I asked my PA if he thought the mask was helpful, “because you’ve touched it about 23 times since I got here 5 minutes ago.” He agreed it was just for appearances to patients. 

When we’re talking schools and children required to wear masks, I predict higher face-touching instances than adults. 

teen adjusting face mask incorrectly

So at a very basic level, masks may actually increase the spread of contagious disease by:

  • causing the wearer to touch their face more often
  • creating a moist environment where bacteria can thrive, right near the nose and mouth
  • collecting pathogens including viruses when stored improperly, then delivering them directly to the face (as in the case of a person setting their mask down then wearing it again, jamming a mask into a pocket that may be contaminated, or any other instance where a mask touches a surface that hasn’t been recently washed)

A group of hospitals in Canada released a Recommendations for School Reopening document (PDF, accessed 8.27.20) and noted each of the above situations along with concerns about children’s mental, social, and academic health while in masks. There’s also a concern about generating a false sense of safety, as I explained above.

My goal today is to mitigate some of the physical health risks to the wearer as much as possible through proper mask-wearing protocol

RELATED: Boost your immunity during the pandemic!

boy adjusting face mask correctly and incorrectly

How to Wear a Mask Properly, as Recommended by Doctors

I ran this by a dozen MDs, DOs, and NDs, and even with their extremely busy schedules, 8 of them approved and contributed to the following steps to wearing a mask safely and properly:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask (or use hand sanitizer if water is not available).
  • Touch earloops only when putting your mask on. For gaiters, touch the sides by the ears only. 
  • If you have a nose wire (disposable or cloth) adjust it once when you first put it on and don’t adjust again.
  • Wear the mask over both your nose and mouth.
  • Breathe through your nose only.
  • After that, don’t touch the part of your mask that touches near your nose! In other words, don’t pull the mask down at the nose, adjust using only the ear loops no matter what, and if you need a breath or “mask break,” use only the ear loops. This is totally possible!
  • Don’t pull at the outside of your mask or touch the outside, even after you’ve taken it off when possible.
  • Take masks off by earloops only.
  • Make sure the inside of your mask doesn’t touch anything, including your hands or tables.

Show This Video to Your Kids!

If you can’t view the video above, click “Wear a Mask Safely to Protect YOU” to view it directly on YouTube.

Honestly, almost all these protocols could be boiled down to:

Earloops only, don’t touch the mask!

Mask Wearing Safety C.O.D.E Don't bring germs to your face

How to Wear a Face Mask Correctly with Mask C.O.D.E.

Use this memory tool to teach kids (and adults!) how to wear a mask safely and correctly.

Mask Wearing Safety C.O.D.E Don't bring germs to your face

Would you like a printable version of the Mask C.O.D.E. to post as a reminder in your home, business, classroom or church along with hacks to keep the masks clean and more?

Read all the safe mask wearing posts:

Extra Notes for Little Kids (& Adults Who Never Grew Up)

I can’t wait to start hearing stories of what kids creatively do with their masks…sigh. 

Share these notes with your kiddos! 

  • Sharing is great, but your friends and pets don’t need your mask.
  • Keep the mask out of your mouth. 
  • Masks aren’t blindfolds. Or headbands.
  • Slingshots are fun, but not the same as masks.
  • Masks aren’t the new stress ball — don’t fiddle with them. 
  • What else? 🙂
hold your mask by the earloops
Approving doctors for this list include:

The other docs didn’t respond; no one disagreed with these protocols. The other stories and research in the post are my own.

The doctors I asked to approve this list range in mask-belief from those who feel like kids shouldn’t even be wearing masks all day to those who want to sanitize any surface a mask touches the moment it’s picked up.

Some don’t think masks are effective at all while others told me, “The most important thing is that people wear the masks, even if they can’t get this part right.” 

But…how realistic are these expectations, especially for children?

earloops only!

It’s going to be an interesting school year…nonetheless, I’ll be reminding my own children that if we’re going to wear a mask, we’re going to do it properly, to cause the least risk to our own bodies. 

In the next posts in this series, we’ll discuss how to take a mask break properly, how to wash and store your masks, the risks of mask-wearing that you can mitigate, and more serious risks

Yes, masks don’t only cause us to potentially bring more germs to our face, exactly what they’re trying to avoid, but those wearing masks all day without proper medical exams and training could be at all sorts of other risks. 

Teachers are reminding kids to wear their masks over their noses to protect others, but they need to include protocols to protect the kids wearing masks too, like NOT touching the nose area (which many teachers are doing purposely as a silent reminder to the kids to pull up their masks, le sigh). 

My goal is to have my family wear masks as few minutes as possible while still respecting others and the rules and regulations, and I’m on a new mission to help YOU protect your family from the risks of wearing masks too.

Share this info with your school groups, teachers, and friends!

Read all the safe mask wearing posts:

children wearing masks safely and incorrectly

Footnotes:

  1. Centers for Disease Control. (2020, August 27). Coronavirus Disease 2019: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html Accessed August 28, 2020.
  2. Centers for Disease Control. (2020, August 7). How to Wear Masks. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html Accessed Sept. 1, 2020.
  3. Dolcourt, J. (2020, May 1). Will homemade face masks keep you from getting sick with coronavirus? What to know. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/how-to/will-homemade-face-masks-keep-you-from-getting-sick-with-coronavirus-what-to-know/
  4. Centers for Disease Control. (2020, July 31). How to Protect Yourself & Others. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
  5. Weise, E. (2020, July 15). Wearing a mask doesn’t just protect others from COVID, it protects you from infection, perhaps serious illness, too. Retrieved from https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/wearing-a-mask-doesn-t-just-protect-others-from-covid-it-protects-you-from-infection-perhaps-serious-illness-too/ar-BB16LciZ
  6. Gerhaghty, J. (2020, May 11). More Than You Ever Wanted to Know about Viral Mutation. Retrieved from https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/more-than-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-viral-mutation/
  7. Citroner, G. (2020, March 10). You Probably Touch Your Face 16 Times an Hour: Here’s How to Stop. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-to-not-touch-your-face

Additional Sources:

  • Face Mask: How to Put on (Don) and Take Off (Doff) PPE. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.registerednursern.com/face-mask-how-to-put-on-don-and-take-off-doff-ppe/
  • PRIMED Medical Products. (2020, April 9). How to Wear a Face Mask Safely – Medical PPE Donning and Doffing [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx4tpwnSrbk
  • Donning Doffng Mask Instructions with Pictures. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.umassmed.edu/globalassets/coronavirus-new/donning-doffing-mask-instructions-with-pictures.pdf
  • How To Don & Doff a Face Mask. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.opro-tec.com/us/blog/post/how-to-fit-a-face-mask
  • Yu, C. (2020, March 30). Donning and Doffing N95 Mask for Reuse. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/EhxpJFDHAeI
  • Song, E. (2020, June 30). Flying with Kids During a Pandemic [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://healthykidshappykids.com/2020/06/30/flying-with-kids-during-a-pandemic/
  • Centers for Disease Control. (2019, March 5). Interim Guidance for the Use of Masks to Control Seasonal Influenza Virus Transmission. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/maskguidance.htm
  • Centers for Disease Control. (2020, August 7). Considerations for Wearing Masks. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html#surgical-masks

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

10 thoughts on “Could Your Mask Put YOU at Risk? 8 Doctors Agree on How to Wear a Mask Correctly”

  1. Katie, thanks for your great articles! So helpful!

    Maybe this is a silly question, but if masks aren’t protecting us from others, what difference does it make if someone touches the outside of a mask once it’s removed? similarly, if it’s just our own germs on the inside of the mask, why is it bad to touch that part?

    1. There are no silly questions, JP, as we’re all learning so much daily. I appreciate the opportunity to explain in a different way!

      Outside of the mask: If it’s going back on your face, you don’t want any potential germs from your hands because you touched something else (fomite transmission) getting on your mask, since once a germ/virus/bacteria is on the outside, it may not take much to get to the inside and to your orifices. If you’re just washing it right away, it shouldn’t be a problem to touch the outside. Some are saying that the masks may offer some protection for us as they are a barrier to direct droplet transmission — I just think that because most people seem to touch their face or mask MORE because of the mask, the balance scale may lean more toward causing greater infection because of that. (Some docs don’t want us touching the outside of the mask even if washing right away, basically treating the mask as if it’s a carrier for the virus, since it’s a form of PPE.)

      Inside of the mask: Again, if you’re not putting it on again, no worries touching the inside. If you’re putting it on again, touching the inside takes anything from your hands and directly delivers it to your face. We know that hand washing is the best defense against a virus, then not touching your face, then masks (last of the 3). If you’re touching the inside of your mask, especially if you haven’t *just* washed your hands, you’re basically touching your face.

      Does that make sense? It’s not that the mask that is catching germs from the air but the mask as a delivery system for whatever is on your own hands.

      Hope that clears it up a bit more — thank you for the question! Katie

  2. Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook

    Katie, coronavirus cannot move on its own. It travels on respiratory droplets moving through the air or picked up from a contaminated surface and transferred into another body before they dry up. Because those droplets are much larger than the virus, they can be stopped by cloth–maybe not every single droplet, but a lot of them. Once a droplet is hanging on the inside of your mask, any virus in it cannot then climb through the gap between threads and fly away like a drone seeking someone’s nose.

    I do see people fidgeting with their masks in public. I have found that my 6-year-old fidgets with her mask a lot. In both cases, I think this is caused by having not yet found the right mask for that person’s head shape/size and by unfamiliarity with the sensations of wearing the mask. For myself, my partner, and my 15-year-old, all of whom have done more mask-wearing than the little one (because we don’t take her shopping, and school here is online for the first quarter), the mask serves as a reminder not to touch our faces!

    One helpful tip I just learned from my mom: If your mask keeps sliding off your nose, try giving each ear loop a twist before you put it on. That can help it fit a little more firmly. It seems more effective on my 6-year-old than simply making the ear loops smaller.

    Another thing I’ve learned is that if your mask stays on your nose until you start talking, then pulls down, you need a mask that is a bit looser around the chin but fits tightly over the nose. (However, that could be problematic for teachers or others who work with people shorter than they are, breathing up at them.)

    Thanks for writing this article. I agree that handling masks safely is very important!

    1. Becca,
      Yep, I do know that viruses can’t crawl around. I had to look it up earlier in the summer to understand mask protection, but it’s still never a good idea to contaminate the outside of your mask. I’ll discuss this more in another post in the series.

      I think people fidget with their masks because they don’t think about it, or they don’t think it matters. The more cognizant you are, even if your mask isn’t a perfect fit, the less you’ll touch it. But I do agree that finding a well-fitting, comfortable mask is important.

      Back to the trouble with viruses not crawling around – I can’t quite figure out which part of this post caused you to think I thought viruses were mobile on their own, but one question that scientists are grappling with is whether this coronavirus is airborne, i.e. aerosolized. Droplets that are evaporated can be pretty small, and they would definitely go around a mask, if not through it. The science on masks is so conflicting. I’m still not in favor of universal masking, especially for children, because of all the other risks it brings to our society. We’ll see how it all plays out.

      Thanks for the great suggestion about twisting the mask loops!
      Katie

      1. Becca @ The Earthling’s Handbook

        Katie, the way you put these two sentences together:
        The COVID-19 coronavirus is between 0.06-0.12 microns, which is extremely tiny, like 1/40 the width of a human hair! However, the CDC says cloth masks are enough.

        …I thought you were suggesting cloth masks aren’t “enough” because logically something that small could pass through cloth between the fibers. I’ve heard that argument recently, so I was explaining why it doesn’t work that way. But reading that section again, I think I jumped to conclusions and you didn’t actually intend that interpretation.

  3. “… mask-wearing is intended to protect others around us from our own potentially contagious bodily fluids if we’re an asymptomatic carrier…”

    I have long appreciated and benefitted from your blog, Katie, and I will continue to do so. As a fellow Christian, we have much in common in not only our view of personal and family health, but our worldview in general. This comment of mine is not really directed toward you, but toward everyone in the nation who is blindly following the illogical advice from the CDC that you restated in the quote above. (I’m not saying that you are blindly following that advice. It sounds like you feel coerced to follow the advice for the sake of your children’s education–I get it–and are trying to make the best of a bad situation.) If the box that surgical masks come in states that the masks will not provide ANY protection against covid 19, that is what must be accepted as truth. It is illogical for the CDC to say that it won’t protect us but will protect others. Are they saying that surgical masks (or cloth masks!) have a one-way filter? They will stop outgoing particles but won’t stop incoming particles? How can that be true? It can’t be true. It isn’t logical and isn’t true. I’m so sorry that you and your children need to be subjected to this random, illogical pointless use of masks. Once again, you have provided thoughtful and helpful information to the many families who are in the same sad position as your family, and for that, I thank you. But I wish two things for your readers.

    I wish people would simply do the math…Based on deaths per capita, the death rate for COVID-19 is 0.009% (709,000 people have died from or with COVID-19 around the world, and the global population is 7.8 billion). That then means the average person’s chance of surviving this disease is 99.991%. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/09/05/medical-technocracy.aspx?cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1ReadMore&cid=20200905Z1&mid=DM641345&rid=957575605

    I wish people would gently and quietly refuse to wear masks whenever possible. We may inspire others to do the same. My body is the temple of the Lord, as it says in the Bible, and I work hard to be healthy through clean foods, fermented foods, exercise, vitamin D supplementation and other things. My health is a precious gift from God, and my body is an amazing self-healing machine. Being told to wear a mask (and eventually, being mandated to get a vaccine??) is extremely upsetting to me because I believe, as you do, that mask-wearing will cause health problems.

    I hope you and your family will continue to be blessed with health and joy in this wonderful life God has given us!

    1. Thank you, Lisa, and do know that I’m with you on all counts. There are times when I refuse the mask as well, and I think the mandates are far overstepping bounds. The numbers are a wreck, and I worry a lot about mandated vaccines.

      I’m going a bit controversial on KS and moreso in post #3 as you’ll see, but I have to be cautious publicly. For now.

      On the surgical masks, they were originally designed to protect open wounds from pathogens during surgery mostly, and somewhat to keep blood spatters off the surgical team’s faces. Most studies done on humans will look at N-95 masks and personal protection, since that’s what they were designed for, and surgical masks and protection for “the other,” their design. Soooo…if I am a producer of surgical masks, I’ll pick on the studies that show *some* protection for others (it’s still less than 50 or 75% I believe, from memory) and certainly not invincible. But I can at least say “it helps” and likely no one will have a lawsuit. If I claim protection from COVID, and someone wearing my mask gets COVID, oh boy – now I’m on the hook. There just aren’t enough/any good studies that show protection. So we can’t really go by the language on the box only, since the lawyers/writers of that language don’t have our best interests in mind, nor best science, but their own reputation/bottom line.

      It still hurts my heart to see children in masks (and adults too), and I’m trying to keep it that way. I don’t want these things to be normalized, but it’s an uphill battle for those actually looking at the numbers critically and asking the 2 important questions:

      1. Do masks actually protect others from viruses *more* than they put the wearer at risk? (If they did, and if #2 was also true, then it would be our Christian duty to wear them to protect the weakest among us.)
      2. Is COVID dangerous to change our whole society?

      As you pointed out, #2, probably no. And #1, highly debatable, which is why mandating mask use is ridiculous.

      I’m with you!
      Katie

    2. Becca @ The Earthling's Handbook

      Lisa, here is the logical explanation of how your mask protects others more than it protects you: Picture a sneeze, which spreads virus more dramatically than regular breathing although the same logic applies to every breath. If you sneeze wearing a mask, the droplets forcibly propelled from your nose and mouth go into the mask; it does not catch every single one of them, but it catches a lot. If someone else not wearing a mask sneezes, their droplets go flying in all directions; some of them land on the outside of your mask so that you don’t inhale them, so that is a little bit of protection that your mask DOES provide to you, but a lot of the droplets land on the uncovered parts of your face, hair, clothes, hands, and surfaces you might touch such as doorknobs, stair railings, faucet handles…. That’s why we all need to protect each other.

      As for the death rate, the way you’ve calculated it answers the question, “What are the odds that a person living on Earth has ALREADY DIED of COVID-19?” but you’re talking about it as if it addresses the question, “What are the odds that a person infected with COVID-19 will die of it?” Those are two different questions with two different answers! Looking at the Johns Hopkins data tracker right now: 27,615,676 people worldwide have tested positive for COVID-19 and 898,426 have died. That’s 3.25%.

      As a Christian, I believe in caring for others as much as I care for myself. That includes refraining from breathing virus all over them. I do many things to support my own health, yet I was very sick with something in March (everyone’s best guess is that it was some other virus) and it took me SEVEN WEEKS to recover completely. I don’t want to make anyone else get sick, even if it doesn’t kill them, even if it doesn’t disable them permanently, even if it’s just a couple days of misery, I don’t want them to be miserable just because I didn’t take a simple precaution. I appreciate Katie’s tips for wearing masks safely, and I think it’s really the right thing, the Christian thing, and the American thing to do.

  4. Honestly, I’m surprised that it would be worth it to anyone for their little kids (or even older ones) to wear a mask all day. If there are any other options at all. I realize that sometimes there aren’t..

    1. I’ve struggled with this question for weeks…are we doing the right thing? Will this hurt them? I’m balancing that question with what they gain by being around other kids and having amazing teachers (we really have a wonderful school).

      I have contingency plans for all 3 of the boys though, and if it goes poorly, I plan to pull them before count day. So it’s a balance, just like when I let them eat ice cream or I choose to drink alcohol. We know both of those things are bad for our health, but we choose to do it anyway, with full knowledge. For now, we’re trying the all-day masks as an experiment to see how it goes.

      This post is about mitigating the negative consequences as much as possible, even though my favorite option would be to get those masks off our kids as soon as possible!

      Thanks for chiming in, Katie

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