If you haven’t been double-masking, new CDC study shows why you should

Caption
How Pandemic Routines Benefit Your Brain.With days blurring together in quarantine, establishing a routine may help to improve your mental health.Here are some ways that setting a regimen may positively affect you during the pandemic.A 2018 study in ‘Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin’ found that people with routines were morelikely to see purpose in their lives.Maintaining regular behaviors has also been found to reduce symptoms of anxiety and ADHD.Routines help to mitigate stress, as individuals will have a set of patterns to automatically rely on

Almost since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have told the public about the importance of three things: washing your hands, maintaining a social or physical distance of at least six feet and wearing a mask.

Now, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study has given more credit to the notion that double-masking is an effective method of limiting the spread of the coronavirus. This comes as COVID-19 cases and deaths surge in Georgia and around the nation.

ExploreHave a reusable face mask? Here’s how to wash it the right way

The CDC conducted a study in January that tested two methods of improving the fit and filtration of surgical masks. One involved double masking.

After experimenting with varying techniques for mask effectiveness, the agency concluded that wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask — along with using a mask filter or wearing a nylon covering over a mask — are effective options to improve mask’s fit and decrease exposure to aerosols that could cause infection.

ajc.com

Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“It has been backed up by research that two masks are, in fact, better than one,” CBS Denver’s medical director Dr. Dave Hnida told CBSN Denver in January. “Specifically what we’re saying is that two masks may actually equal the protection you would get from N-95 masks, which is considered the best mask there is short of a complete respirator-type unit.”

He added that using two masks creates “an obstacle course for the viral particle to make its way from the air into your nose and throat and then into your lungs.”

That notion has been backed up by other experts including one in virus transmission at Virginia Tech, Linsey Marr.

She told the New York Times that “if you combine multiple layers, you start achieving pretty high efficiencies” of preventing the virus from coming through and leaving the airways.

ExploreNeed to stock up on face masks? Here’s where you can get reusable ones right now

Research published in the journal Med, which Marr was part of, noted people can either wear a cloth mask snuggly over the top of a surgical mask, with the latter acting as a filter and the former providing another layer of filtration, or wear a three-layer mask with outer layers made of a flexible, tightly woven fabric that can fit the face well. The middle layer on this mask would be a non-woven, high-efficiency filter material akin to that of a vacuum bag.

But a three-layer mask — which the World Health Organization has said should be the make-up of fabric masks — is different from wearing three different masks in an effort to triple mask and increase protection against the coronavirus.

Doing that could cause more harm than good.

According to NPR, it will make it harder to breathe — and that’s possible with two masks. That’s when a single, multilayered mask would come into play, Dr. Abraar Karan, a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told the news outlet. Karan also recommended that the mask is comfortably fitted over your nose and mouth.

ExploreCDC now urging double masks to help prevent coronavirus spread

About the Author

ajc.com

Editors' Picks