Double Masking in the Time of the New Virus

After almost a year of social distancing and wearing masks, we’re still in the same predicament. Except for this time, there is a more contagious virus and experts recommend double masking to lower chances of contracting the new stand.

What Masks do Experts Recommend?

The most recommended masks are the N95 or KN95, as it has a higher efficiency rate of blocking particles thanks to the woven fibers that it’s made of. Michelle Baron, MD, clarified that if you are wearing these types of masks, there’s no need to add another layer because it’s enough to prevent transmission.

An alternative would be to wear a surgical mask under the cloth mask to increase filtration and improve the mask’s fit, or use a multi-layered cloth mask that has a pocket to insert a filter. A simple light test can determine its effectivity. Hold it up to the light and check that the outline of the individual fibers is undiscernible.

How to Double Mask?

Andrea Love, an immunologist and microbiologist, suggests practicing this if you’re going to be exposed to people who aren’t in your household; whereas a single mask would suffice for outdoor walks that aren’t in close proximity with others. Those who are immunocompromised are also highly encouraged to layer their masks.

Contrary to what others say, breathing should not be too difficult even with two masks on — Love says it could just be that they don’t know the difference between “discomfort and the true psychological effect”.

There is no point double masking if you are not wearing it correctly in the first place, though. Be sure to cover the bridge of your nose, go below the chin, and have it a snuggly fit to your face as having gaps leave room for water droplets to escape.

Needless to say, everyone should continue wearing masks and maintain social distancing especially in public.

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