Upgrade If You Can

Posted by a scientist friend, permission to cut-and-paste. I’m not stopping making cloth masks, because some people may be double-masking, or have budget reasons why disposables are challenging. But if you can upgrade to medical masks, please do.

If you *are* double-masking, the surgical mask should be against your face, with the cloth mask covering it.

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“With Omicron escaping our antibodies (although T cells provide backup against severe illness), and case numbers skyrocketing, masks become even more important. I’d really like to see everyone upgrade to medical masks. A blue surgical mask is comfortable for most people and easy to breathe in, yet provides significantly more protection than a cloth mask. One reason is the electrostatic charge that traps smaller particles than cloth. Although approved by FDA and OSHA for single use, you can wear the same mask for a couple of days if you hang it to air dry overnight, as long as it’s not wet or soiled. Always wash your hands after handling a mask.

Please give it a try.

Oh, and while I have your attention: please do not remove your mask to cough or sneeze!!! This totally defeats the purpose! Cough into the mask, even though it’s gross — and keep a backup mask to change into. And then wash your hands. (And check the cause of that cough.)

ETA: the purpose of this post is to encourage people to upgrade from cloth to medical masks, with blue surgical masks as a viable option for many. If you already have an N95 mask that fits you well, and can afford to use them consistently, carry on!”

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