Masks Make Life Difficult As Mercury Inches Higher in Odisha

Over the past few weeks, Odisha’s day temperature has steadily shot up, going from the pleasant cool of the early February phase to scorching heat of over forty-degrees celcius in some districts. This steep rise in temperatures has left many flummoxed as to how to keep wearing masks without experiencing a bout of discomfort.

With COVID positive cases once again on the rise across the country, the Odisha government cannot ask its people to drop guard against the risks. However, many have complained of difficulty in breathing, skin infections and sweating when donning the masks amidst such soaring temperatures.

As per prevalent protocols established by the government, it is mandatory to wear masks at all public places. As complacency had set in following the months post the initial ‘hard lockdown’ days, the Odisha government recently circulated a diktat to the police commissionerate and the BMC to step up enforcement of the regulations to ensure better compliance.

Sradhanjali Mishra, a school teacher said, “Taking classes on the campus wearing a mask is very difficult for me. I have to constantly keep talking to students covering my face with a multi-layered mask, which leads to profuse sweating and panting. Even students, who remain in school for nearly six hours, have to wear the mask throughout the class hours. It is extremely uncomfortable to do so for them as well. But we have been asked to ensure that no one takes off the mask during school hours. Though we can understand and empathise with the plight of students, we cannot help the situation.”

Experts suggested that a possible workaround was to have multiple masks as spare and changing them at regular intervals. They also recommended the use of triple-layer cotton masks instead of synthetic or polyester ones, which not only improves breathability but also helps avoid skin infections.

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