Masks have been recommended as a reliable barrier to the spread of COVID-19 for some time. As we’ve experimented with different types of masks, avoiding the ones that medical personnel and health care workers need, including orderlies and maintenance workers in health care settings, the idea of what is the safest has changed over time and have adjusted for the continuing updating of scientific information.
With the new strains that spread more easily and appear to be more deadly showing up all across the United States, it is now being recommended that wearing a KN95 mask is the best way to avoid the spread of covid-19.
They work on their own, keeping out 95% of particles, but as you’ve seen around the news, beginning with the Inauguration, double masking is considered a better way to protect yourself and those around you, especially if you’re going to be with people you don’t live with for longer than fifteen minutes.
In our house, we recently purchased two bags of KN95 masks to be used with a cloth mask over it during times when we’d spend significant time out of our house. They were quite reasonable on Amazon: 20 masks for $39.99 and they were delivered in two days. They are disposable and can’t be washed, but since they’re covered (with the second mask), we expect to use them for at least a week at a time. This may vary depending on how often you are outside of your house.
My son, who is in the hybrid program at school is expected to wear double masks or the KN95. Please note that this is our family rule; not a school rule. The school has already required actual masks and no bandanas or gaiters as masks have been proven to be more effective.
We wear these new masks when we’re grocery shopping, which tends to take a bit longer. We don’t need to wear them at the drive-thru, although we do mask up for those limited engagements.
If you’re out walking your dog (or yourself for exercise) and you don’t usually run into people, I’d recommend a single mask. At a dog park or public park? Double mask.
Links and Additional Photos:
Coronavirus Mask Regulations in Europe [Washington Post]
How to Double Mask to Stop COVID [NY Magazine]
Double-masking for COVID Protection [CNN]