Is there any consensus around the best masks options if you can’t get access to respirators? Ideally in stock within about 6 weeks (when school would begin…)
I see lots of rankings based on comfort/style, but not as much analysis around “this is actually going to do a good job filtering out particles”
EDIT: oh hey, looks like the GoRuck masks are back in stock. Maskit also looks promising.
Alicia - July 3, 2020
This article describes testing for effectiveness of masks from different materials. There are links to the article that I first read where designers are testing the masks they make and I are also selling (second link):
nosname - July 7, 2020
If you don’t have access to a NIOSH-rated respirator, your best option to protect both yourself and others may be a simple cloth mask + plastic faceshield (assuming you don’t mind going out in public wearing a faceshield).
In non-healthcare settings, this combo may even be more protective than wearing an N95 FFR alone.
shtfhappens - July 12, 2020
“In non-healthcare settings, this combo may even be more protective than wearing an N95 FFR alone.”
Interesting. Any sources you can point to? (I see you’re a doctor, just want to learn more)
nosname - July 12, 2020
Sort of… This JAMA article does a good job describing the advantages of face shields: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2765525
But the exact question of simple mask + faceshield compared head-to-head with N95 alone, I don’t know if anyone has a definitive answer.
Ideally, it would be moot because everyone would have access to N95s and faceshields. When caring for COVID patients, I wear N95 + safety glasses + faceshield.
When I wrote “non-healthcare settings” I was assuming a setting in which the main risks are droplet and contact (both of which a faceshield does a great job blocking) and that there are not a lot of aerosols being generated. A primary advantage of N95 compared to simple mask is aerosol protection. But the N95 depends on a tight seal to provide that protection. Many of the N95s worn out in public are non-fit-tested, and — given the shortage of N95s — also from a subprime manufacturer (e.g. not 3M). In my experience, these masks don’t make a very good seal.
COVID_Actuary - July 23, 2020
Stupid question – how are aerosol’s generated? Does a sneeze/cough just generate droplets, not aerosols? Is it just like intubation and flushing toilets that aerosolize particles?
Essie Carroll - July 24, 2020
I was wondering about this too. I’m used to thinking of aerosol like hairspray and I know that doesn’t apply here 😂
I’d like to be a little smarter about what counts as aerosol since it seems so important to virus spreading.
nosname - July 30, 2020
This is a very good question that is not so straightforward to answer. A recent article in The Atlantic does a good job:
Essie Carroll - July 30, 2020
Thank you! Reading now…
PrepPrepPrep - July 24, 2020
I always wear a face mask with the face shield, or face mask plus goggles if the shield is not convenient, like when I had to go to the dentist. This report was posted recently, something to consider when using shields. https://www.insider.com/face-shields-did-not-protect-people-from-coronavirus-swiss-outbreak-2020-7
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