Double-Masking: Some Experts Say It's Time To Start Wearing Two

While some people still seem to be unwilling to wear a mask inside stores and other public places, many health experts are recommending that we double-mask when we go out. The terms "double-mask" and "double-masking" have been trending on social media as people try to figure out if this is something they should be doing, how to do it properly, and in which situations it makes sense. The CDC hasn't taken an official position on it yet, but Rolling Stone spoke to experts, including Dr. Stuart Cohen, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control at UC Davis and Dr. Michelle Prickett, Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and put together a comprehensive article on the topic.

You should read the full article linked above (and/or the one below from Quartz), but it all seems to boil down to, yes, adding another layer of filtration (either with an additional layer of fabric or a single mask with a filter pocket) does increase the wearer's level of protection. The N95 masks we heard so much about at the beginning of all this still seem to be considered the best option. A common double-masking method is a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask, which can snug up a regular mask and bring it closer to the 95% filtration of the N95 mask.

Concerns include people adding layers to the point that they can't breathe as well, making the masks so uncomfortable they need to adjust them to much, and putting them on in a way that creates gaps and defeats the purpose of wearing a mask in the first place.

Definitely a lot to consider. Whether or not this makes sense for you may depend on whether you're in a high-risk demographic. Or it may be something to consider only when going into certain high-risk situations.

Photo: Getty Images

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