Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask! title=
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!
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By Van Do–Reynoso, MPH, PhD, Director, Public Health

If you are concerned about the new variants of COVID-19 and want to be better protected against the COVID-19 virus, you may want to double mask. New guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends double masking to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The updated guidance follows the release of new research from the CDC which tested various masks in a lab setting and found evidence that combining a cloth mask over a surgical mask could dramatically reduce both the spread of the virus to others and exposure to the virus oneself.

The study shows that transmission of the virus can be reduced by up to 96.5 percent if both an infected individual and an uninfected individual wear tightly fitted surgical masks or a cloth-and-surgical-mask combo.

According to findings from a CDC study, wearing a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask helps improve the fit of the surgical mask. The closer fitting the mask is to your face, the fewer gaps there are where respiratory droplets carrying the coronavirus can enter your mouth and nose. Because layering masks reduces the porosity of your face covering, it's also more likely to do a better job of protecting you from those infectious respiratory droplets.

The CDC's latest guidance on improving mask fit now recommends:

  • Choosing a mask with a nose wire, which prevents air from leaking out along the top
  • Using a mask fitter or brace over a disposable or cloth mask, to prevent air from leaking out. These small, reusable devices cinch a cloth or medical mask to create a tighter fit and improve mask performance.
  • Make sure your mask fits snugly over your nose, mouth and chin: If the mask has a good fit, you will feel warm air come through the front of the mask and may be able to see the mask material move in and out with each breath, according to the CDC.
  • Add layers of material – either by using cloth mask with multiple layers of fabric or by wearing a disposable mask under a cloth mask.

For more information about local public health orders, guidance, and COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Santa Barbara County, please visit: https://publichealthsbc.org/

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ConservativeSB Mar 15, 2021 02:57 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

I do. I own multiple firearms for that reason. As far is Covid 19, I am not remotely at risk nor is my family. And CDC has proven themselves to be a pathetic organization during Covid.

ConservativeSB Mar 15, 2021 04:43 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

You do know 15 states have no mask mandate and have better numbers than a state recommending two masks right? I clearly made a separation of the statements by saying "as for Covid 19,...". You attempting to imply I would use a gun against a virus shows you're not paying attention. There is ZERO data that shows double masking works. There is close to zero data that masking works. Even democrats in Florida are admitting Florida did it right.

sacjon Mar 15, 2021 05:37 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

CONSERVATIVESB - I'm talking about covid, you're talking about guns. Who's not paying attention? I just don't understand you people who proudly refuse to do anything that even MIGHT protect your family. Yeah, have all the guns you want, but refusing to even consider a minor inconvenience for the sake of your family's health seems irresponsible. I'm not saying anything about the efficacy of double masks, but if the medical and science experts tell me it might help protect my family, I'll happily put on a second piece of ultra light cloth over my face when needed. Go have fun with your guns, but they're not going to help you where it counts.

a-1615855674 Mar 15, 2021 05:47 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Thinking that guns protect your family just shows that you don't pay attention to evidence and data. Epidemiological studies show that a firearm in the house is much more likely to cause injury or death to someone in the household than to serve any useful purpose. Oh, and epidemiological evidence also overwhelmingly shows that masks are hugely beneficial with regard to the virus.

dukemunson Mar 15, 2021 07:48 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

CSB - the problem/issue is that some people do not... and others have life/issues happen and the availability of that gun causes problems. Just because you can responsibly handle and safely store a gun, doesn’t mean it should be easy for everyone to get a gun... and wildly powerful and high capacity ones at that. In the same way that I feel like I can safely drive 110 mph on the 101... it’s best that I don’t... and that people that feel the same way are also limited/stopped. The greater good if you will...

Channelfog Mar 16, 2021 07:09 AM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Black market guns are cheap and available, no waiting period, no I.D.. There is no shortage of illegal guns in the US and often the citizen is out-gunned by a criminal w/ fully automatic weapons. Gun Laws and Drug Laws create a lucrative black market that guarantees that these problems will never be solved.
Last week the 5 Ha MJ plantation next door (that is in full bud) had midnight visitors. Their security guard fired a warning round and guess what? The four of them high tailed it. With this biz next door, I am armed 24/7. Again, if all drug laws were thrown out, this stuff would not be worth stealing. Thanks "Tricky Dick" for the "War on Drugs", our losses have been monumental.

Channelfog Mar 16, 2021 07:17 AM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Epidemiological studies include 100% accounting of gun in juries because people end up in hospitals, but when you call the cops and tell them that you just ran someone out of your house at gunpoint, they say good work and record nothing. To further make it apples and oranges; you must kill the intruder inside your house to log a "defense" yet anyone injured inside or outside your house is counted as a "liability". Statistics show.....cow patties.

a-1615843432 Mar 15, 2021 02:23 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Geez... what's next. Twenty percent of us are getting vaccinated each month, so (unless you don't want to) in a few months most of us will have the vaccine. Will life get back to normal or will we be wearing masks and staying away from people even then to protect those that don't want the vaccine? Can hardly breathe or talk with one mask, and my ICU nurse friend doesn't wear one unless she has to either, because "I've been vaccinated, that's the point".

Channelfog Mar 16, 2021 06:56 AM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

We've never had an effective vaccine against a Corona Virus and likely, there never will be one. They mutate too fast and in unpredictable directions. Our only hope is masks, hygiene and distancing, and we DO need to get back to biz. While it is warm and fuzzy to imagine an immune populace and the old normal, this virus will be with us a long time, likely forever.

Chip of SB Mar 15, 2021 02:26 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

In order to evaluate the potential benefit of masking and double masking, we can start by looking at the effects of masking to date. The latest report from the CDC found that mask orders are associated with around a 1-2% decrease in Covid deaths in a time interval ranging from 20 to 100 days after implementation. So masks possibly contributed to a 2% reduction in the rate of Covid deaths. Assuming 500,000 deaths in the us, that 2% figure would translate to about 10,000 lives. To help quantify the other impacts of masks and lockdowns, the number of drug overdose deaths per year preceding Covid was just under 70,000. The projected rate for the last year is 86,000. That’s an increase of about 16,000. In order to evaluate the cost/benefit of lockdowns, one would need to look at the whole picture. If the isolation and discomfort and unemployment drives more people to to die from drinking, drugs, and suicides than it saves from Covid, then it might be worth reconsidering.

Ahchooo Mar 15, 2021 03:46 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

The point of masks is to prevent infection, not to prevent death after infection. Not sure your statistics fully reflect that. Consider also that the medical establishment has gotten better at preventing deaths, with better treatments implemented over time. That could affect the death rates during the times analyzed, one way or another. Also, what do we know about how well the mask wearers complied—did they wear them as recommended, or just say they did? Most people don’t really wear them consistently or correctly. For me, if I go to a busy indoor place like a grocery store, I wear an N95, sometimes with cloth over it (mostly for style). Plus, this way if I do get infected, I’ll know I did my very best.

letmego Mar 16, 2021 02:07 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Plus, the main reason for masks "not decreasing infections" as much as you'd like it because...well, people didn't wear them? Not so much that they weren't as effective. The majority of known cases (from contact tracing) come from parties and family get-togethers. You know, when people don't mask. It makes sense, then, that "mask requirements" which really are only followed (and partially, at that) in public places will only decrease the spread so much. Because they are only able to decrease the spread of a small portion of the infections.

LCP112233 Mar 15, 2021 02:56 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

I have a hard time getting through a hot flash wearing one mask. Eye roll. Seriously, it's not fun. I have been to the point where I almost passed out. Love the cold weather though. Really helps the situation.

letmego Mar 15, 2021 03:05 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

I started doing this a few weeks ago when it was first recommended. It's important to note a few things:
- In a prior job, I wore a mask 30-60 hours a week, so it's no big deal to me.
- These days, I rarely leave the house except to exercise or go to the pharmacy or store (or doctor, or dentist).

What I have learned: running/walking in a cloth mask really sucks, especially with glasses. Silicone inserts can help, but they aren't awesome.

Because of that, I tend to wear a mask that hangs around my neck when I run, and I just avoid people as much as possible. If I see someone coming and I cannot get far enough away from them, I pull up the mask until I am far enough past them.

For the few times that I have been indoors (pharmacy, store, etc) in the last few weeks, I have worn a surgical mask UNDER the cloth mask. This, actually, is far more comfortable than just the cloth-mask-with-filter. The surgical mask is MEANT to be against your face, and comfortable. It's actually the MOST comfortable mask method I've used during COVID times.

Chip of SB Mar 16, 2021 09:29 AM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Here is a link to the CDC’s latest statistical analysis of the effectiveness of masks. The 1-2% reduction of transmission and deaths they have reported seems well below the potential/estimated benefits they were writing about a few months ago. I still remember when they were saying it would all be over in a few weeks of everyone would just wear a mask. Nope, turns out maybe at best the rate of new cases would drop by 2%.

yacht rocked Mar 15, 2021 08:27 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

This advice reminds me of what happened with the evolution of razor blades...first one was OK, then two was a must-have, three was an upsell, and now there's some with five blades so close together that they're clogged and useless. :)

Chip of SB Mar 16, 2021 09:34 AM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

Masks work the same way. If you stack up enough layers, all the air will jet out the sides instead of flowing through the “filter” element. I think the point is that wearing several masks is more uncomfortable than a single mask. The wearer can feel like he is making a greater sacrifice, and others may think the same. In reality, the extra layers probably just make the hot steamy air jet out the sides of the mask all over the place. The effect of masking is about a 2% reduction of new cases at most per the latest CDC report, so masks seem to be more of a social/emotional issue than an effective way to slow the spread.

Babycakes Mar 16, 2021 01:57 PM
Worried about the COVID-19 variants? Double mask!

For months we've been wearing our morts (The Mort), which essentially is the "turtle" portion of a turtle neck shirt/sweater. Hard to find, but unfortunately they come in one color (bright red), but you can easily make your own. Some of you may remember the cartoon included with Bazooka Joe bubble gum...one of the characters was named "Mort"...hence "The Mort".....stylish, colorful, fun, and makes everyone feel good when wearing or observing.

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