Do Not Remove Your Mask When You Sneeze

There seems to be some confusion about what to do when you are wearing a mask and need to sneeze. As Matt Carolian pointed out on Twitter , in a recent impeachment vote, a man took off his mask and sneezed into his hand, which is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing.

The purpose of wearing a mask is to keep airborne droplets from getting into the air that other people can breathe. If you need to sneeze – a phenomenon in which a huge amount of droplets are released from the respiratory tract – here’s what you need to do:

  1. Don’t take off your mask
  2. Sneeze into the elbow or cloth (through the mask)
  3. If the inside of your mask is now unbearably rough, change your fucking mask.

We can do it all. I believe in us. Carry a replacement mask with you if you’re worried about wetting your face with sneeze juice for the rest of the day. (It’s a good idea to have accessories handy anyway.)

And while we are doing this, do not take off your mask to speak. You can speak normally through it, even if you are talking to a crowd (with or without a microphone). Drops don’t stop coming out of your mouth just because people are listening to you. In fact, when talking and especially screaming, many drops are formed, and the task of the mask is to keep them. Just let the mask do its thing.

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