The biggest complaints are that they are uncomfortable and may feel like it is hard to breathe.
The American Lung Association recognizes the discomfort that many may feel and offers some useful tips to get used to wearing a face covering.
- Think positive. It’s true that breathing through a mask will feel different. See if you can begin with “I’m going to make this work” mindset vs. thinking “I’m never going to be able to wear this.”
- Practice at home. Don’t jump into the deep end. First, ease into wearing your mask at home while watching your favorite tv show. Then try taking it for a walk around the house, perhaps preparing for dinner. Take a step outside to get the mail and eventually a short walk around the neighborhood with your cloth mask. Level up slowly and be kind to yourself as your body adjusts to wearing the cloth covering before you show up at a store where your anxiety might already be high due to fear of exposure.
- Be creative. If your current face covering just isn’t comfortable for you, consider your options. Consider wearing a scarf, balaclava/ski mask, a handkerchief tied around your head or other options.
The CDC recommends that all face coverings should fit snugly and comfortably against the side of your face and be secured with ties or ear loops.
The fabric should be layered but also allow for breathing without restriction. The masks should be washable.
Children under the age of 2 should not wear cloth face coverings, according to the CDC, and anyone who has trouble breathing.
Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.