“We’re asking everybody that, when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask. Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact, they have an effect, and we need everything we can get.” President Trump
"Masks matter. These masks, they matter. It matters. It saves lives. It prevents the spread of the disease." Joe Biden
CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people.
While we are all at unease about the latest election, there does appear to be one commonality that our current and future leaders agree on, and that is “Mask can help save lives and slow down the transmission of the COVID 19 virus.” If there is one positive to come from this global pandemic, it is that everyone is taking additional precautions to stay safe. These precautions include keeping your hands away from your nose/mouth, wearing gloves when possible, sanitizing and washing your hands frequently, and wearing the now infamous masks.
Our country has quickly started implementing masks, but our leaders are FAILING to ask and address fundamental questions.
Are all masks created equal and which masks offer people the most protection against COVID19 and other airborne viruses?
3-Ply: It appears that Americans and people across the globe have rushed to wearing 3-Ply masks because they are very inexpensive. So our question is, “How effective are they?” The answer varies. Not all 3 Ply masks are created equal. A 3-Ply Mask that most consumers are buying at the local store offers very little protection. Very inexpensive masks are usually not made with melt-blown materials found in most 3-Ply Medical and Surgical masks that can offer 95-99% transmission protection. If you are buying and wearing consumer-grade 3Ply Masks, make sure they are made from melt-blown filtered materials, and they are not just an overpriced napkin.
N95 vs. KN95 Masks: Probably the single hottest debate in masks, is what are the differences in of an N95 and KN95 are both protective against COVID transmission. The three major masks certifications are N-US Standard, KN-China’s standard, and FFP2-Europes standard. As long as the provider can provide a valid test report by the FDA testing, these masks are made with the same materials, with similar production lines, and nearly all are manufactured in China. Some manufacturers are now manufacturing in the US stateside.
2-Ply Masks: Probably the biggest “No-No” in mask today, yet these masks are very common civilian users. 2-Ply Mask offer the least protection of all these masks. They are not rated for any virus transmission rate, like the N95s and KN95s (i.e., 95% efficient). While still better than no facial covering at all, virus transmission is possible through masks. While most are made to be fashionable, they do little to protect you against viruses.
Health-Tech Masks: The newest trend in mask today. While they may look a little intimidating at first, technology-infused masks can help us achieve better results and outcomes. Masks now come equipped with micro fans to increase oxygen flow and remove carbon dioxide from our masks. The latest in technology also allows for UV filters to help kill viruses when charging. While more expensive than your everyday disposable, they offer heavy mask wearers great advantages.
High speed camera captures how different types of face masks work
Mask mandates by state as of 11/17/20.
- District of Columbia