Two years into COVID-19, and I do know extra folks than ever—in cities throughout the U.S.—who’ve been contaminated regardless of being vaccinated. Some have steered the omicron variant could also be practically as transmissible as the measles, that means only one contaminated individual can make as many as 18 others ailing.
Within the quick, many public well being specialists say it’s time to reassess the standard of your go-to mask. Should you’ve been casually sporting a fabric mask to get by within the sweltering summer time months, it is best to think about switching to a full-blown N95 or KN95 mask—each of which can block 95% of COVID-size particles from reaching your nostril and mouth.
However how does that recommendation assist if we can’t supply high-quality masks? Isn’t Amazon supposedly filled with counterfeits? And aren’t we taking N95s away from medical staff who want them? (That’s what the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention nonetheless claims, although experts beg to differ.)
Because it seems, not less than for the time being, there isn’t a scarcity of N95s. The U.S. presently has roughly 100 million N95 masks in stock. The bottom line is getting your palms on an actual one, and Project N95 is right here to assist. The nonprofit’s singular job is promoting certified N95 and KN95 masks at the very best worth doable. In observe, which means you can rating a pack of high-quality masks for about $1 apiece. And at this second, there are many choices. You can decide your most popular form, coloration, and whether or not you need the bands to go round your ears or the again of your head.
You actually don’t have to really feel unhealthy for shopping for these masks! The manager director of Undertaking N95 has mentioned as a lot:
There’s no scarcity of N95s. Home N95 mfrs want LT contracts to create stability in manufacturing/forecasts.
— Anne Miller ???? (@crosscutanne) December 21, 2021
Do you at all times have to put on an N95-level mask throughout this pandemic? Possibly not, in line with Joseph Allen, an affiliate professor and director of the healthy-buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan Faculty of Public Well being. He breaks down the math on how a number of mask wearers amplify their effectiveness. If one individual wears a fabric mask, it could be 50% efficient in blocking COVID-19 particles by itself. However when two folks put on a fabric mask, the determine jumps to round 75%.
When the virus isn’t surging with such an efficient variant, and also you’re in a safer state of affairs (with a managed social circle, in a well-ventilated space, and many others.) experts agree that fabric and different extra informal masks could be high-quality. However on this second, with omicron surging, it appears to be the time to improve to a number of the finest, accessible, cheap expertise that we’ve got.
And why not? As a result of don’t overlook, N95 masks can be reused!