Is it time to wear a highly efficient medical grade facemask?

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    • #465763
      • Total Posts: 11,670

      Q: What makes an N95 mask a particularly effective facemask? Could you provide a nuts-and-bolts breakdown of an N95 mask versus a typical cloth mask and versus a typical “surgical” mask of the non-N95 variety?

      A: Compared to a surgical mask or even the common cloth masks that many people have been wearing during the pandemic, an N95 mask is designed to be much more effective in providing protection from the coronavirus. It provides a closer fit to one’s face via a tighter seal around one’s nose and mouth. That seal, in combination with the material it is composed of, offers a much higher level of protection from airborne particles. In fact, when used properly, an N95 can filter out at least 95% of airborne particles of a particular size that includes the coronavirus. Commonly available KN95 masks have many similarities to N95 masks. Though KN95s are not held to the same federal manufacturing standards as N95s, they are still a very useful alternative.

      Q: What should a person know about wearing an N95 mask? For example, does it need to be discarded after each use?

      A. For an N95 (or even the KN95) to be effective, it is important that wearers make sure that the seal around the face and mouth is adequately snug and that there are no gaps — especially around the bridge of the nose. It should fit comfortably but sufficiently secure either behind the head (an N95 will only have head straps) or behind the ears (in some KN95s). As for repeated use, this is a source of debate. N95s are supposed to be single use only and used for a limited period before being discarded. However, because of their price, such limited use can add up in cost. The inventor of the material used for N95s published some recommendations to enable multiple uses of an N95 mask. One of them is that a user should rotate a set of N95s so that each mask has three days to be adequately decontaminated from the virus. The mask needs to be stored at room temperature in its own paper bag. However, one must discard their mask once it becomes soiled, the noseband loses its ability to retain a shape, the straps become loose or break, or the mask becomes difficult to breathe through. Also, beware of KN95 masks, which are made to foreign standards, and have been found to vary widely in quality or even in some cases, be counterfeit. Buying from trusted sources that vet the manufacturer (like the Project N95 initiative) or referring to the CDC and FDA’s websites for authorized mask manufacturers before you purchase a specific product is important.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #465768
      • Total Posts: 8,646

      A nurse practitioner friend just went through such a fitting.

      It took 45 minutes with masks from 14 manufacturers and a test systen to find a proper fit.

      I doubt that’s available for everyone.

    • #465776
      NV Wino
      • Total Posts: 9,236

      I got some at Costco and practically had to cut eye holes in order to see. 🙄 I just ordered some others, which supposedly is a smaller size. Masks tend to fall into “the cure is worse than the disease” category. 😏

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #465788
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 24,441

      What’s next? We’re supposed to go masked all the time because of the common cold? Sorry, but that’s unacceptable to most people. We’re not going to turn into germophobes for the benefit of those who already were well before the pandemic.

      Never let your morals stop you from doing the right thing.--Isaac Asimov

      The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.--Julius Nyerere

    • #465822
      • Total Posts: 548

      from this ‘common cold.’

    • #465844
      • Total Posts: 1,731

      Who is dying from- not with!- Omicron?? 2/3 of people going to

      the hospital go there for other reasons. When they are tested there

      they show a positive result. Cripes, even the news on M$M admit

      that. Naturally the common cold can hurt people with several

      comorbidity factors. I have yet to learn that we were asked to wear

      masks when a serious cold went around. Since in most death cases

      no autopsies are performed we often don’t know the cause. There

      are a lot of scary assumptions abound instead of clear facts.

    • #465869
      • Total Posts: 6,358

      Fact 1: People are dying from Omicron.

      Fact 2: There are different sizes of n95 masks, get the dimensions form the seller and figure out your size.

      Fact 3: I’ve been wearing n95s since JUNE.

      Fact 4: You should too. @eridani

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

      • #465969
        • Total Posts: 11,670


        Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #465877
      • Total Posts: 6,027

      …is that you either have to take your chances on buying masks online… and pray that they’re sized properly (which also applies if Uncle Joe starts mailing these things out for free, like he says he wants to do)….

      Or…. go out with your “inadequate” cloth mask to go N95 shopping in person, since you’ll at least be able to see what a mask looks like in a box or a bag or whatever before you buy it, and should be able to reasonably guess whether or not it will fit your face properly.

      My Former Employer really should have created all of you with the same sized faces & heads, I guess?

      "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable". - John F. Kennedy

    • #465918
      • Total Posts: 1,494

      all transmission increases the incidence of mutations and of the evolution of new variants.  Just because Omicron’s less fatal doesn’t mean the next variant won’t be worse.

      Imho, we need to know more about these potentials and how to fight this virus before we abandon all caution.

      More selfishly, I’ve got 3 factors for elevated risk and would prefer not to have to live in isolation, so I’m personally very grateful to everyone who makes the effort to mask.

      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

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