Thursday, March 4, 2021

Double Up!?

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Society

Ed Hessler

The Washington Post's January 26, 2021 coronavirus coverage (Ben Guarino with Angela Fritz reporting) included this question from a reader. Scroll down for the question and answer.

I’m getting confused about masks; I see some places say you should ‘double up,’ others where you should wear medical grade, but it looks like most people on the news (including at the inauguration) were wearing cloth masks like I am. Is there a mask standard?

Allyson Chiu, wellness reporter for the Post responded to this question.

--Anthony S. Fauci has said "it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective."

--Professor Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert, University of California-San Francisco suggests "doubling up on face coverings if you are spending time indoors in crowded spaces or in areas where transmission rates are high. People who are medically vulnerable should also consider layering their masks."

Gandhi suggested two options:

One. "Wear a tightly fitted, multiple-layer cloth covering over a surgical mask."  The surgical mask repulses the virus electrostatics at work) repulsion while the cloth mask provides the physical barrier. Never put anything over an N95 mask. It is as good as it gets.

Two."Wear a three-layer mask with tightly woven fabric outer layers sandwiching a middle layer made out of a “'nonwoven high-efficiency filter material' such as a vacuum bag filter....The filter material will act similarly to a surgical mask or other medical-grade covering."

The link to the question and response includes a link if you are interested in learning more. 

The Corona virus reporting from the Washington Post is free and you can sign up--a link is at the top of the page. It is a great service. 

Wear one for starters and don't wear it so its top is at the bottom of your nose!


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