People still have a lot of questions when it comes to safe and healthy practices regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions range from, “should I hold my breath when people get too close to me?” to “can I use my microwave to disinfect my mask?” Well, we have those answers for you courtesy of CBC.

As a general rule of thumb, you should stay at least six feet apart from another individual and be wearing a face mask covering both your mouth and nose. However, sometimes staying six feet apart is harder to maintain in, let’s say, a grocery store aisle. Now, there is a split second where you are right next to someone else and you find yourself holding your breath. Is this going to stop the germs from getting to you?

CBC talked to experts who say that although holding your breath doesn’t hurt, it isn’t actually necessary. Michael Curry, a professor, and emergency room doctor says, “Holding your breath might be marginally beneficial, but unless someone is breathing right in your face or speaking moistly right at you, it is unlikely to spread the virus.” Sumon Chakrabarti, who is an infectious diseases physician agrees with Curry’s assessment.

Another question being asked is whether or not putting a mask in the microwave will disinfect it. CBC has said definitively that you should NOT put your mask in the microwave no matter the circumstances. Doing so is a fire hazard and can cause severe damage.

CBC talked to fire marshal John Pegg who said, "Microwave ovens are not designed to heat cloth materials, so there is a risk of the mask overheating and catching fire." This is especially true if your mask has a metal nose wire as it can cause sparks and catch fire in a microwave. The safest thing to do is to throw away disposable masks and wash cloth masks after use.

 

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