Summer is here! The weather is warming up and it is time for some fun in the sun. The Coronavirus Pandemic may have placed a hold on your summer plans, but there are still ways to adapt the new regulations into your outdoor activities.
These materials have proven to function well in filtering particles, while keeping you cool. Researchers say cotton can block droplets released from verbal communication, coughs, or sneezes. Remember, N95 and other surgical masks should be reserved for essential workers.
Tip: You can save money by making your own masks at home. Use a cotton t-shirt or an old silk scarf. Use two layers of fabric, as recommended by the CDC, and cut to a shape that fits over your mouth and nose and extends from ear to ear. Cut holes around your ears and you can loop the fabric over your ears. You can also cut the fabric into a large square like a bandana, fold in half so you have two layers of fabric, then tie a knot around the back of your head. This method does not have ear loops and can help to prevent ear-aches.
Masks function at their best when dry. Dampness can prevent proper filtration and blockage of particles. This is another reason why cotton material is the most practical alternative: cotton traps less moisture than other fabrics.
Wearing a mask and doing outdoor activities can be uncomfortable with sweat and increased breathing. Try scheduling outdoor physical activity when the sun is lower. Remember to still wear sunblock!
Example: Go on a sunset walk instead of a 2 p.m. hike.
Research has shown that overall mask temperature is lower when you wear lighter colored materials.
Example: Try to avoid black or navy blue fabrics.
Maintain six feet of distance from people, which is about two arms’ length. Wash your hands with soap for at least twenty seconds under warm water. If you are using hand sanitizer when outdoors, use one that has at least 60% alcohol.