What Does Jose Mier Recommend?
Jose Mier is a Sun Valley, CA resident and business owner.
Walk the streets of Sun Valley these days and one thing stands out: everyone is wearing a mask. For good or ill, all of us have taken to protecting ourselves and those around us by donning this “essential” piece of face gear. Is it worth it? Are some masks better than others? Or are we just pretending that what we’re doing is effective to obey the rules that have been set down for us during this pandemic.
Anecdotally, if my trips to the grocery or hardware store are any gauge, the selection of face coverings varies widely from medical type masks to bandanas around the face. We seem to practice some social distancing, but we’re often close to others as we pass by in the aisles. For me, I enlisted the help of a worker at a local hardware store and he (as I) was really not concerned about our proximity to one another as he took me to another aisle in search of the thing I was looking for.
It seems as if we’re donning masks out of obligation rather than a true concern about health.
Regardless, people sometimes ask which mask is best or most effective in limiting the amount of particles we emit. As I said, masks range from the simple to the complex. At the simple end of the scale we have bandanas or simple cloth coverings. Experts say these are not as effective in blocking what we exhale and the lower the thread count in these types of coverings, the more particles get through.
Medical type masks (or even homemade) with a tighter weave (180 thread count) are better and two layers makes the mask more effective.
Masks with filters may be more effective still and some come with carbon filters which helps remove bacteria and particulates. Others come with HEPA filters. However, the research is still out on how effective any of these masks are in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. With any of these masks, experts say it’s important to make sure there are no gaps between the mask and your face.
Jose Mier’s Personal Experience
On a personal note, I’ve used the medical type disposable masks and found them okay. I’m able to breathe, but prolonged wearing has made me feel a little dizzy. I tried a new cloth mask and found it so tight it was hard to speak. Honestly I wear the mask out of obligation and to avoid any problems with others when I’m out and about but in this age of COVID confusion and no solid answers to anything, I’m skeptical that our masks are really doing that much good. There’s something to be said for herd immunity too. One waits to see what the result is from the recent protests where so many have been gathered together in close proximity—albeit wearing masks. If there is no spike in new cases it may be that our social distancing guidelines are as effective as the old shark bait.
For now, Jose Mier and the rest of Sun Valley will sport our masks. Perhaps I’ll look into a floral print next time!