We are headed right into the 2nd month of the year and we all thought we'd be out of the house by now. But alas, new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus have emerged and last week President Joe Biden signed a mask mandate for all federal workers and anyone on federal property. Public health experts are now suggesting that we do a more to protect ourselves. By do more they mean "Double-Masking."
What is Double-Masking?
Double-masking is simply adding a high-quality medical mask (a N95 or a surgical mask ) underneath your cloth mask to add an additional protective barrier. Research shows both these single-use masks are more effective than the cloth masks alone. The N95 is reported to be 95% effective in blocking small and large particles.
The goal is to provide a 2nd layer to stop any respiratory emissions from getting in or out.
Should you ALWAYS Double-Mask?
The short answer is No. Double-masking should be based on the level of risk for that activity. According to professionals If you’re out where no one is around or with a friend, a singular mask will do. Double-masking should be done when entering indoor locations, on public transportation, in grocery stores, taxis/Ubers, etc. If you’re an essential worker this technique should be used while on the job.
*You should still maintain physical distance, wash your hands, and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
What professionals say...
While the Center for Disease Control has not provide an official guideline for double-masking experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have been quoted saying "Two mask are better than one."
Fauci's precaution come as no surprise. This time last year wearing a mask was frowned upon for the general public. Who knows, months from now wearing only mask could seem obsolete.
So? One Mask or Two?
At the moment double-masking sounds like a better safe than sorry tactic. Whatever the case you should consider adding the small adjustment when venturing outside. Not only to protect yourself but those around you -- including the essential workers we are all so grateful for.
And if you need more convincing to stack up, Amanda Gorman (the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history) wore two masks the day she made history. That makes it cool right?