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More About Face Masks
Since posting Securing Our Health as The Covid-19 Crisis Continues, I’ve been receiving some questions and comments about face masks. So I just want to clarify a few points about the wearing of face masks and give you some new information I just received.
You don’t have to wear a face mask all the time
How much time you spend wearing a face mask depends on your circumstances.
Larry and I wear our face masks less than 1 hour per day, if that.
We only wear them when we leave our house and are in proximity with other people, such as when we go to the grocery store or post office.
Some people are saying that wearing a face mask is dangerous. I’m not even going to begin to address all the viewpoints on this.
My opinion, which is the foundation of my action, is that it is in everyone’s best interest to wear a face mask when we are around others in close proximity.
I would agree that reusable face masks can harbor germs if not washed and they can lower the amount of oxygen you breathe. My solution is to wear a face mask as little as possible, but I do wear one when necessary and mandatory. I just make choices to spend the majority of my time in conditions where a face mask is not needed.
Your choice of fabric for face masks makes a difference
I just received an exceptional writeup about various fabrics used to make face masks and which are the best. It’s written by sisters Patty Grossman and Leigh Anne Van Dusen, founders of O Ecotextiles, who know more about the safety and performance of fabrics than anyone I’ve ever met. They have been bringing all their care and intelligence to this subject since 2004.
O ECOTEXTILES: Why Your Choice of Fabric for Facemasks makes a difference gives a thorough review of the efficacy of various fabrics to perform the function of face masks, the safety of various fabrics, and sources for the best fabrics and finished masks made from certified organic cotton fabrics.
- It’s more important that the mask be comfortable enough so you can continue to wear it as long as necessary, rather than it’s ability to stop various sized particles or maintain a seal
- The top five materials that are best for breathability and effectiveness are denim, 100% cotton bed sheets, paper towel, canvas, and shop towel.
- Any mask using any fabric is better than no mask.
I’ve been very comfortable wearing my certified organic cotton face mask from Naturepedic. It’s so comfortable I sometimes don’t notice I’m wearing it and forget to take it off when I get back in the car after being out and about. They come in a pack of six. We just toss them in the wash with other laundry so we always have clean masks available. And they fit well too.
My biggest problem wearing a face mask is that my glasses get fogged up and I can't see.
After trying several possible solutions, what finally worked was to put my face mask high over my nose, and then put my glasses over the face mask so my exhale doesn't go up into my glasses. This works every time.
Read more about why glasses get foggy when you wear a face mask and other ways to control this at AARP: Face Masks Can Prove Tricky for Those With Eyeglasses.
Stay safe. Let’s get through this pandemic.