Double up your masks

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Jan 29 7:56am

Good morning everyone. Do you remember back a year ago when we were all humming and complaining about having to wear masks? Well, authorities are now asking us to double up, especially if since N95 masks are unavailable. Some news is confusing because Dr. Fauci walked back support for this after the CDC didn't come right out and promote this. However, he did say that it made sense to wear two.

I know that a lot of us have made tons of cotton masks. To double mask, you place the surgical mask on first and then your cloth one on next. Then adjust the masks to your face. This is supposed to equal the N95 mask in protection. This is to help protect us and others from contracting the new variants.

As always please continue to get vaccinated, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands frequently. Any indoor activity with more than your live-in family is frowned upon. As everyone can see this virus and its variants are in the business of surviving for as long as they can so we need all the protection that we can get and protect others.

health information from CDC at http://www.coronavirus.gov

latest research information from NIH at https://www.covid19.nih.gov.

Hi Merry –
I have always been skeptical of bandanas, gaiters and t-shirts as effective masks – now the science is catching up. Mine have always been 3 layers of tightly woven fabric, one soft, one firm poly, and one fun cotton.
Recently as the more contagious variants have arrived, we have been wearing N95 masks when we are going to have more than momentary contact outside our bubble (doctor appts, etc.) I just told my husband that if we travel, especially with news of more variants coming, we will be wearing N95 masks full time. Fortunately we have access to a limited supply of masks, and we're careful to hang them to decontaminate naturally between uses. But I am going to look into getting some more.
Today my good friend gave me the unwelcome news that many of my Texas neighbors, including some close friends, are not being at all careful – making me even more reluctant to head down there, even vaccinated.
Sue

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@sueinmn

Hi Merry –
I have always been skeptical of bandanas, gaiters and t-shirts as effective masks – now the science is catching up. Mine have always been 3 layers of tightly woven fabric, one soft, one firm poly, and one fun cotton.
Recently as the more contagious variants have arrived, we have been wearing N95 masks when we are going to have more than momentary contact outside our bubble (doctor appts, etc.) I just told my husband that if we travel, especially with news of more variants coming, we will be wearing N95 masks full time. Fortunately we have access to a limited supply of masks, and we're careful to hang them to decontaminate naturally between uses. But I am going to look into getting some more.
Today my good friend gave me the unwelcome news that many of my Texas neighbors, including some close friends, are not being at all careful – making me even more reluctant to head down there, even vaccinated.
Sue

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Hi Sue- Am so glad that you didn't travel either. That's not good that your "southern" neighbors aren't being careful. I wish that I could get a hold of some N95's but as you say they are limited to mostly medical people. I hear that tye aren't very comfortable all day.

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@sueinmn

Hi Merry –
I have always been skeptical of bandanas, gaiters and t-shirts as effective masks – now the science is catching up. Mine have always been 3 layers of tightly woven fabric, one soft, one firm poly, and one fun cotton.
Recently as the more contagious variants have arrived, we have been wearing N95 masks when we are going to have more than momentary contact outside our bubble (doctor appts, etc.) I just told my husband that if we travel, especially with news of more variants coming, we will be wearing N95 masks full time. Fortunately we have access to a limited supply of masks, and we're careful to hang them to decontaminate naturally between uses. But I am going to look into getting some more.
Today my good friend gave me the unwelcome news that many of my Texas neighbors, including some close friends, are not being at all careful – making me even more reluctant to head down there, even vaccinated.
Sue

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@sueinmn, I've been wearing double masks whenever out but hadn't bought any N95s because I am out so seldom and for very short periods.

Alas, living in another part of TX, I can vouchsafe that sadly many in my area continue to refuse to stop large group congregating and are rarely seen wearing masks even though now mandated by our mayor and gov.

While I've remained positive and upbeat during this long ordeal, I now find myself becoming more discouraged as more Covid mutations are reported and many persist in refusing to take minimum precautions. News reported yesterday that following both Covid vaccs, a man tested positive for the virus. Is the general public not hearing the same national and public health reports news reported coast to coast?

I've read that not all N95 masks are created equally. I can't buy them here locally so if you find a reputable ordering source would you please share the link here? Almost a fluke that I received my 1st Moderna shot and am scheduled for the second the first week in Feb. My inperson annual visit with my doc is Feb 2nd and I'm wishing I had an N95 on hand to wear for that visit and later lab.

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@fiesty76

@sueinmn, I've been wearing double masks whenever out but hadn't bought any N95s because I am out so seldom and for very short periods.

Alas, living in another part of TX, I can vouchsafe that sadly many in my area continue to refuse to stop large group congregating and are rarely seen wearing masks even though now mandated by our mayor and gov.

While I've remained positive and upbeat during this long ordeal, I now find myself becoming more discouraged as more Covid mutations are reported and many persist in refusing to take minimum precautions. News reported yesterday that following both Covid vaccs, a man tested positive for the virus. Is the general public not hearing the same national and public health reports news reported coast to coast?

I've read that not all N95 masks are created equally. I can't buy them here locally so if you find a reputable ordering source would you please share the link here? Almost a fluke that I received my 1st Moderna shot and am scheduled for the second the first week in Feb. My inperson annual visit with my doc is Feb 2nd and I'm wishing I had an N95 on hand to wear for that visit and later lab.

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We are very fortunate to have had a supply of N95 masks on hand due to our lung conditions prior to Covid, and used them very sparingly when we traveled home & throughout the summer. Circumstances allowed us to get a few more, and we are carefully using them as needed. We have asked for a few more, and we shall see.
In the meantime, I will say that the double masks are very nearly as effective if you make sure there are no gaps around the edges.

That said, I am looking for an on-line source for certified masks, and will share once I find one.

Please remember, when you hear stories of Covid after vaccine, millions of doses have been distributed, and only a handful of post-vaccine infections have been reported. That is what 94-95% effective means – there will still be a few cases. Compared to the flu vaccine (40-60%) or Shingrix (80%) that's stellar. And remember, they never report the details, the person could have had a condition making it more difficult to make antibodies.

@merpreb – N95 masks vary in comfort for longer term wear – some are nearly suffocating, the 3M ones (rare as hens' teeth) are very tolerable to me. Certified KN95 masks (NIOSH or OSHA or EU) are better, but you have to be more careful fitting them to your face for effectiveness. A couple of clues for anyone looking at N95 masks – the elastic always goes over the head, never around the ears. And it is not stapled to the mask because that pierces the protective fiber, though it may be stapled to the flange around the very edge, where the seal is.
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

We are very fortunate to have had a supply of N95 masks on hand due to our lung conditions prior to Covid, and used them very sparingly when we traveled home & throughout the summer. Circumstances allowed us to get a few more, and we are carefully using them as needed. We have asked for a few more, and we shall see.
In the meantime, I will say that the double masks are very nearly as effective if you make sure there are no gaps around the edges.

That said, I am looking for an on-line source for certified masks, and will share once I find one.

Please remember, when you hear stories of Covid after vaccine, millions of doses have been distributed, and only a handful of post-vaccine infections have been reported. That is what 94-95% effective means – there will still be a few cases. Compared to the flu vaccine (40-60%) or Shingrix (80%) that's stellar. And remember, they never report the details, the person could have had a condition making it more difficult to make antibodies.

@merpreb – N95 masks vary in comfort for longer term wear – some are nearly suffocating, the 3M ones (rare as hens' teeth) are very tolerable to me. Certified KN95 masks (NIOSH or OSHA or EU) are better, but you have to be more careful fitting them to your face for effectiveness. A couple of clues for anyone looking at N95 masks – the elastic always goes over the head, never around the ears. And it is not stapled to the mask because that pierces the protective fiber, though it may be stapled to the flange around the very edge, where the seal is.
Sue

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Hi Sue- I have been wearing Certified KN95 masks. And I ordered the sheets that Lori recommended. Thank you

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Hi All: I've been doubled masking. I put on a disposable mask first and then cover that up with a thick cotton mask. I hope it works. In spite of a rather unusual reaction to my first COVID vaccination, my next one is scheduled for Feb. 9.

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@ fiesty76.. When I had my in person visit with my new PCP earlier this month, they want me to take my mask off and wear a new disposable mask on that they provide or put their mask on top of mine. I had a Kn95 on and I don't want to take it off, so I put the disposable mask on top of mine.

@hopeful33250 what unusual reaction did you have after the first shot? Hope it goes smoothly for you at the 2nd shot.

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@mayofeb2020

@ fiesty76.. When I had my in person visit with my new PCP earlier this month, they want me to take my mask off and wear a new disposable mask on that they provide or put their mask on top of mine. I had a Kn95 on and I don't want to take it off, so I put the disposable mask on top of mine.

@hopeful33250 what unusual reaction did you have after the first shot? Hope it goes smoothly for you at the 2nd shot.

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@mayofeb2020
My reaction or side-effect was not one that was listed so it was probably unique to me. I had Shingles in September 2020 and had a lot of right-sided flank pain. A few days after my COVID vaccination I began to have discomfort similar, but not as bad, as the Shingles pain. There were pins and needles pain and the prickly feeling, but there were no lesions or rash to indicate a recurrence of Shingles. It was all on the right side (like it was in September). My neurologist suggested that since the virus that causes Shingles stays dormant in your body, the vaccination probably triggered the pain. The pain only lasted a few days and I took a Gabapentin one day which helped.

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@merpreb My husband found these at a hardware store. It fits very tightly and I put a cloth mask over it.

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Hello, all.
Several days ago, I began looking online for N95 masks. To no avail.

The 1st masks I purchased last year were Rhoback, black w/an American flag on the front corner. I like the way they look, vanity is an important component of this whole mask thing, eh? …….. but also got them because they are 3 layers…..one soft cotton on the inside against the skin, another that is a pocket in which you can add a filter – some recommended using a coffee filter if one didn't have a made to wear filter, and the outside is an antibacterial fabric. It's warm in hot weather and can be challenging to breath at times, but I'm thinking it's actually a pretty good mask.

I recently bought a couple from the Mayo online store that came w/filters if you chose to use one. I'm adding filters to my masks at this time due to the variants coming our way. Folks from Brazil and other South American, Central American, Mediterranian countries, regularly arrive in Miami Airport. So, I've been and am aware we may well have early exposure to variants. I'm personally concerned about the Amazon variants and the danger they may present to us. Which I also see as a real concern re our southern border, Texas, my fiesty76 friend.

So, whether this is logical or medically sound thinking or not, I have no idea, but I think adding this extra layer of precaution may be wise for me.

I welcome any advice or comments. Also, with this extra precaution, I do feel better. Dr. Fauci is right….wearing masks and now double masking is perhaps a good thing psychologically whether it actually helps medically or not.

This thread is so helpful. Thank you all for your thoughts and insights. You've helped me think it through and make my plans.

Stay safe. We will get through this. And we are now and will be much stronger for the experiences. There is actually something calming about this process of facing a pandemic and our mortality with support from so many others provided by these groups. Interesting…..

My best to you, be safe and stay well! Together we are strong!
Blessings…..
elizabeth

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@becsbuddy

@merpreb My husband found these at a hardware store. It fits very tightly and I put a cloth mask over it.

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Thank you, Becky @becsbuddy. I just finished the message below and saw yours….placed an order! They're on the way. I bet you they'll soon be out! Aren't you a doll!
Blessings.
elizabeth

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@becsbuddy

@merpreb My husband found these at a hardware store. It fits very tightly and I put a cloth mask over it.

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Hi Becky! This is might be for carpentry uses. Just make sure that there if people are going to buy N95 masks from a hardware store or similar, they make sure there is no "valve" in them because many stores do put them on display as "N95 Masks in stock now". Check to make sure that they say NIOSH approved because MANY of the N95 and KN95 masks for sale right now are not. This means either no testing was done, or worse yet, they failed I believe. The 3M 142-8210 plus N95 is for diseases. I'm not sure if the carpentry mask will work, despite the fact that it traps fine particles. Sanding and human droplets may need 2 different filters.

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When this stuff first started I finally found a fairly comfortable mask which had multiple cloth layers with a pocket inside for a PM 2.5 carbon filter. The pocket has also allowed me to insert a mask frame to help with the breathing by keeping the pressure off of my mouth and nose for easier breathing.

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@becsbuddy

@merpreb My husband found these at a hardware store. It fits very tightly and I put a cloth mask over it.

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Becky – Tell your husband "Good Find!" Thank you for the image. It shows exactly what I was talking about yesterday – this mask is made correctly, with the straps "welded" to the flange so they don't pierce the protective layers. I looked it up and it is NIOSH approved and meets FDA surgical respirator standards – see my remark below.

All N95 masks are all made to the same standard. The difference between "industrial" respirators and medical ones is the breathing valve in most industrial masks, making them easier to breathe in. Unfortunately, the valve can let infectious droplets out. NIOSH approval is the key – it means more than one sample has been tested by an independent lab and complies with the standards.

HOW TO TELL IF AN SPECIFIC N95 MASK IS NIOSH APPROVED:
Here is a link to a list of NIOSH approved masks: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/N95list1sect2-m.html
The list is very long, but at the bottom of the first page is an alphabet so you can skip to what you want. Pay attention to the exact model number.

Sue
PS I hate wearing N95 masks without a valve, but I do it. I use the valved ones in the yard and around dust.

REPLY
@ess77

Thank you, Becky @becsbuddy. I just finished the message below and saw yours….placed an order! They're on the way. I bet you they'll soon be out! Aren't you a doll!
Blessings.
elizabeth

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@ess77– Have you read my post below and @sueinmn ?

Liked by ess77

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