Dr. Fauci: double masking ‘just makes sense that it would be more effective’

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This story came out a couple of days ago but I wanted to talk about it. Dr. Fauci did an appearance on The Today Show where he talked about the new strains of the coronavirus as well as vaccines and prevention, of course. President Biden recently blocked travel from South Africa due to a virulent new strain which is different from the more transmissible and deadlier UK variant. (The CDC has more on these new strains and here is an article that helped me understand how they emerge.) Given that coronavirus is mutating to be more easily spread, we have to do what we can to prevent it. Dr. Fauci told Savannah Guthrie that double masking “makes common sense” because it provides extra barriers against the virus.

Anthony Fauci, MD, says wearing two masks is better than one when it comes to warding off the coronavirus.

The purpose of a mask is to prevent droplets and the virus from reaching a person’s mouth and nose, he said on the Today show, so increasing the barriers naturally increases protection.

“If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “And that’s the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N95.”

N95 masks are expensive, and the CDC recommends they be reserved for health care workers, but health experts say double masking is easy and something of a no-brainer.

“Double layering is adding extra filtration, but a lot of the benefit also comes in making sure you are covering those gaps around the mask, because not every mask you put on fits equally.”

[From WebMD]

I’m writing this story because I want to encourage you to double mask now if you are not doing it. I wear a KN95 mask with a cloth mask over it and a visor whenever I got out. I bring a bottle of alcohol spray with me and when I get to my car I wash my hands. (I have a plastic organizing tub from the Dollar Tree with hand soap, a small towel and a bottle of Gatorade filled with water in it.) I am not messing around with this and lately I’ve been tucking my hair up in a beanie so it doesn’t get contaminated when I’m out. I know this sounds paranoid and it is because I or my son could die or get sick with lasting health issues if I’m not careful enough. Now is the time to hunker down until we get the vaccines. (Even after that I’ll still be wearing a mask.) My local grocery store has KN95 masks near the checkout which are just 10 for $10. You can get them on Amazon too, but they’re more expensive. Check locally first. Wear a cloth mask over it and you can even get a visor, but never wear a visor or face shield alone. They don’t have enough protection for you or others.

There’s also news of new vaccines along with news of how effective the existing vaccines are against the new variants. Dustin at Pajiba has a very good writeup about that. Even though the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is said to be only 85% effective against severe coronavirus, it was 100% effective against hospitalization and death. I will take whatever vaccine I can get!

Here’s that interview with Fauci:

That youtube video has almost as many downvotes as it does upvotes. F-k antimaskers they are crazy and are killing people.

Fauci was double masking since at least November!
United States Vice President Mike Pence participates in a briefing with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force

Amanda Gorman double masking it.
Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States Biden Sworn-in as 46th President of the United States

Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg!
US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation hearing to consider the nomination of Peter Buttigieg to be US Secretary of Transportation.

photos credit: Avalon.red

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38 Responses to “Dr. Fauci: double masking ‘just makes sense that it would be more effective’”

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  1. Case says:

    The only thing with double masking that scares me is that sometimes I feel like the way they rest on my face means that neither one of them are exactly positioned correctly. I’m fortunate to not need to go out very much, though.

    Be careful with KN95s — the ones made in China are not made with the same safety standards that we use to make N95s in the US. On top of that, some are counterfeits. I’m sure they’re fine in layering, but be sure that’s not the only protection you have.

    • Christin says:

      I bought kn95s online last week. I made sure they were on the CDC tested/approved manufacturer product list, which also shows filtering efficiency.

      • lucy2 says:

        I did the same, bought from a reputable, USA made company. Basically the warning is don’t buy on amazon, too many fakes.

        I started double masking when I have to go out, which thankfully is rarely. Considering I still see morons wandering around with their nose hanging out, I’d wrap myself in saran wrap if I could.

        I was able to get a vaccine appointment! It’s months away, but that’s OK. But on a local page sharing the links for the mega sites here, some moron post “Do your own research!” and then posted to a random facebook page, LOL, which was just saying the Pfizer on isn’t FDA approved, only has emergency approval. Which…duh, everyone knows. Luckily the admin deleted their crap.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        Same here. I use the KN95, then put a blue surgical mask over that. I also have a crude face shield of plastic and foam/velcro (I bought about 50 last April from an American company when this got “real”, just for “extra” protection). When I have to go out, that’s what I wear.

        Even after I get my 2nd dose of the vaccine (I got Moderna last week, along with my dad, as I’m my dad’s sole caretaker/healthcare worker), I will continue this routine until Dr. Fauci himself says it’s ok to ease up. He’s pretty much the (major!!) one I trust.

      • Mich says:

        What about the ones that were linked in the Amazon post a few days ago? I bought them but it’s so scary, what if they are indeed counterfeit? It’s sooo hard hearing all this- don’t buy the ones online they might be fake. Don’t go to the grocery store (to find “real” masks) because we should be staying out of stores and God forbid you need to go to more than one store because they’re out of stock. It’s f-ing exhausting.

    • Korra says:

      For KN95s, there is a water test you can administer to check if they are quality-made and not counterfeits. Pour water in the area your face goes, with the front facing down like a bowl, then let it hang for a few minutes. A good quality KN95 will not have any leaks or soak through; the counterfeits, however, will likely have leaks. That said, KN95s are still not N95s, so double mask even if your pack of KN95s pass the water test.

  2. Tiffany says:

    I have been double masking since I read about the strain in England coming. Then stories about Brazil and South Africa followed and now all three strains are stateside.

    That and people still thinks this is a joke are worst than ever and frankly, are just plain nasty.

    • Embee says:

      I feel the same way and I am appalled by people’s cavalier behavior around the variants and just in general. My SO’s 35 year old son thought he was hot shit taking his (24 yo) new girlfriend to SO’s second home for the New Year. (SO wanted to go and I said NO and if you go you’re quarantining when you get back). Well dontcha’ know his new girlfriend (of like, 3 months) has been sick with COVID for 3 weeks and had to go to the hospital yesterday because she has something in her lung that’s making it hard to breathe and may burst, causing more trouble. The stupidity of it all is breathtaking. And not exactly the way to ingratiate yourself with her parents… Of course she’s an adult and bears the responsibility for her choices but…

    • Emm says:

      So does it count as double masking if you are wearing a double layer cotton mask with a charcoal filter inside?

  3. Leah says:

    My mom wears a kn95 with a surgical mask under it. I tried it, it’s a little difficult but doable. I usually just wear my three layer cloth mask but I’ve been trying the combo of kn95 plus cloth mask to see how I do. It’s been easier since it’s gotten colder to be honest. I did buy some goggles (they look like reading glasses) but they tend to fog up so I ordered some special spray for them.

    Today I’m going with her for her vaccine shot, as she’s in the vulnerable tier as an elder. She’s taking it in her stride even though I have a near hysterical fear of needles. Lol.

    • Sarah says:

      I got my first dose – it doesn’t hurt at all when you get it but DO NOT look at the needle!! LOL… It did make my arm sore for a couple of days.

    • Eugh says:

      I think KF/KN/N then a surgical on the outside is the easier to breathe version. I find cloth unbearable to breathe through but the surgical ones fine for hours. I’ve been doubling here in NY. I’ll do a KF94 then a surgical one on top that i’ll toss

  4. Christin says:

    I would rather do more safety precautions than less, as there is no rewind button in life.

    My preferred mask has been a poly-blend double-layer sports mask with a filter pocket. I use a two-layer cotton filter inside that mask. I think the sizing of the mask matters. The mask should not gap, nor should one’s glasses/sunglasses fog up. If they do, then the nose wire is not correctly fitted.

    I still see people going maskless or wearing a mask below their nose. I am determined to stay clear of anyone who does that.

  5. Miss Margo says:

    I haven’t been double masking, just wearing the 3 layer medical masks, but I’m going to double mask from here on out!

  6. CityGirl says:

    Yeah, I double mask and have been for a while. First with a KN95 and then a cloth. Plus my job gave everyone a couple of masks that can hold a filter. I don’t care if I look like a crazy lady. I don’t want to get sick and I want to be able to go see my people in good health and good conscience when this is over. I can’t believe the idiots are still fighting about this.

  7. Coco says:

    I tried double masking once and it took about 40 seconds until my glasses fogged up completely. Someone told me to try to tape down the disposable/inner mask with medical tape, which will hopefully work, but I haven’t tried it yet.
    And I’ve been fortunate enough to not have to go out often, so I plan it out that after I go to the grocery store, I put away my groceries then take a shower.

    • Celebitchy says:

      There are mask nosebridge things you can buy separately on Amazon that you can stick on the outside of your mask. Those might work for you:
      I like the idea of taking a shower when I get home.

    • DogMom says:

      Fellow glass wearer here and I also struggle with fogging whenever I wear a mask. One hack I’ve discovered is folding up a piece of toilet paper (at least two squares) hot dog style and placing it under my mask, over the bridge of my nose, and it usually helps prevent my glasses from fogging up. Not 100% full proof, but it works more often than not. Masks with a metal noise piece can help, too.

    • Juls says:

      I unfortunately have to go to work 2-3 days a week, and I always always shower as soon as I get home after stripping in the laundry room and immediately washing my clothes. I got Moderna shot #2 today Yay! But my neurotic washing and sanitizing routine will probably never change. As for the glasses fog, maybe try the trick where you clean your glasses with shaving cream. It works on my bathroom mirror to prevent fog.

  8. Darla says:

    I wear the Kn95’s with one of my cotton masks over it. I have a lot, some of them say science is real, but my new favs are the it goes over your nose. I have been wearing that one in lavender, one of my fav colors. It really annoys some people, lol

    • Juls says:

      I love the cloth masks that old navy makes. They fit really snug, all the way up to the eyes and down to the throat, and they have adjustable ear straps.

  9. Lila says:

    Cambridge pros all the way. Per use they’re cheap, and puts you at 99% efficacy.

  10. sa says:

    I’m not buying KN95 masks on amazon, because I figure the risk of getting counterfeit masks is too high with all the 3rd party sellers. But I bought some recently from Office Max that are on the FDA list of approved substitutes for N95 masks. I’m wearing them under other masks, partly hoping the double masking helps me stay safe, but also hoping the extra mask offers at least a little protection to the KN95 mask so I can reuse those.

    Also, double check where your hand sanitizer was made. I had one of the recalled hand sanitizers last year, but now the FDA is warning caution about all hand sanitizers imported from Mexico. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-takes-action-place-all-alcohol-based-hand-sanitizers-mexico-import

  11. Nina Simone says:

    Thanks! I’ve been double masking since the fall. I’ve also encouraged people around me to

    • HoofRat says:

      Same; until I got the okay to WFH, I had to take public transit. Wearing a non-surgical disposable covered by a tight-fitting 3-layer cloth mask was the only way I felt remotely safe. Can’t seem to find N95s around here, so I’ve just continued with that setup.

  12. Miranda says:

    Mask-related gripe: The other day, my dad, who is almost 80 and has been recovering from heart surgery, finally got the OK from his doctor to start getting back to his normal routine after he got his vaccination. I went grocery shopping with him yesterday, at a store that added extra early and late hours just for seniors, and probably over half of the elderly people we saw there weren’t wearing masks at all. My dad talked to a few of them, and they apparently thought that, since they were vaccinated, they didn’t need to wear a mask anymore. I don’t know if this is a matter of willful misunderstanding, or if the people who administered the vax didn’t make it clear enough, but either way, YOU STILL NEED TO MASK UP, GUYS!

    • Christine says:

      This is my worry about the vaccine also. It doesn’t mean immunity and I feel people are going to treat it that way. There’s not enough testing on the vaccines to know exactly how long it will work on our bodies, especially with the virus mutating in different ways.

    • Juls says:

      I got my second shot today, and they made a point of telling me to continue to wear my mask. I didn’t need to be told, but others do apparently, so I was glad to hear it.

      • cassandra says:

        I hope you have a good day! I got my second shot on Monday and it knocked me on my butt for two days

    • Christine says:

      That’s scary. Combined with the people who refuse to wear a mask, and the ones that think they need no mask after getting their second dose of the vaccine, I am going to wear three masks.

  13. Amelie says:

    I recently went to the hairdresser for the first time during all this. The salon I go to is owned by a Japanese couple and I trust them more than a regular hair salon, given that in Japan and other Asian countries mask-wearing had already been an acceptable part of life prior to the pandemic. They were being very careful, limiting the number of people in the store and disinfecting everything between customers and had laminated signs everywhere posted about what they were doing to take precautions. So I know they aren’t playing around. I ended up double-masking for the first time when I went with a cloth mask on first and then a disposable mask on top upon my mom’s suggestion (she goes to the same hair salon and has been doing that every time she goes). This was before all the articles coming out we should consider double-masking. I probably won’t be going to the hair salon again anytime soon because I honestly forgot just how close stylists get in in your face when they cut your hair, but I will be double masking everywhere I go now.

  14. Adi says:

    This is really interesting. Being from the UK, we haven’t yet been told to double.mask (but then we generally are behind everywhere else…) so I’m intrigued if it will be encouraged here too.

  15. Don't Take It Seriously says:

    I double mask because the surgical masks I wear at work irritate my skin, so I wear a cloth mask under a surgical mask

  16. april says:

    I’ve been double masking and sometimes triple mask since July. The one time I didn’t double mask last summer is when I got a mild case of covid.

  17. MrsMC says:

    What worries me about double masking is the ability to talk and work for long periods of time. Teacher here who still has to “hybrid” teach. Masks make it very difficult to deliver a lesson over a built in laptop microphone 😑

  18. Det20! says:

    I have been double masking since late October or so. Numbers were rising in Germany and I got some FFP2/KN95 masks thinking maybe I should use these sometimes instead of my cloth masks. A few day after I got them there was a clip on German tv of Joe Biden on the campaign trail. And he wore what looked like a KN95 underneath a black cloth one. And I went BINGO! Because honestly I think the white ones are pretty ugly (I know, I know, what matters is they make life safer for others and yourself, ugly does not come into play).

    Now, I bought something like two dozen different cloth masks over the months last year. Baby Yoda, Snoopy, Christmas reindeers, designs with sharks, spiders, horses, you name it. And I am not willing to condemn these to a shelf life while the pandemic is ongoing. So I started wearing double and even got asked about it in December while shopping. I explained that I think the white masks are boring, but the safer option, and I wanted to continue using my cloth masks and people were like “good idea”. In mid January Germany changed some rules and you now have to wear a FFP2/KN95 or medical masks in shops and on public transport. By then I was totally used to always wearing double, so just have continued. And I will for the foreseeable future, with the new variants around and all that.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I ordered some floral ones from Johnny Was to wear over the KN95. I insert a filter in the Johnny Was mask, then fit that over the KN95.