As the pandemic continues to bring unforeseeable fates, we are constantly trying to find effective ways to stay safe and healthy while protecting ourselves from the coronavirus as best we can. It is now being said that two masks will help do just that!
The purpose of us wearing masks is to prevent droplets and the virus from reaching our mouths and noses. Staying protected is important now more than ever because there is a new strain of COVID that is in New Jersey (B.1.1.7) and others in the country (B.1.351 from South Africa and P.1 from Brazil). All three new strains are in United States, though only B.1.1.7 is in New Jersey.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says, “increasing the barriers naturally increases protection.”
Another great benefit of wearing two masks is that you can cover the gaps around the masks because not all masks fit us equally or properly.
Research published at Cell.com recommends:
- Starting with a “high quality surgical or fabric mask with at least two layers and a high thread count for basic protection.”
- For “maximum protection”, wear a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask, with the surgical mask acting as a filter and the cloth mask providing an extra filtering layer and improving the fit.
It’s also important to note that disposal and surgical masks are not the same masks. Listed below are masks the CDC recommends the public wear:
- Non-medical disposable masks
- Masks that fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face
- Masks made with breathable fabric such as cotton
- Masks made with tightly woven fabric
- Masks with two or three layers
- Masks with inner filter pockets
The United States unlike other countries have not made it a federal mandate to wear masks. However, in many states like Arizona there were significant decreases in cases due to imposed mask mandates. On November 9, 2020, the CDC reiterated the benefit of face coverings to protect others, while emphasizing that masks also protect the wearer as well.
As we continue to combat this pandemic, together, we are encouraging messaging on how important it is to wear not only one but two facial masks!
This is information was originally published on webmd.com and cell.com.