Continue to Mask Up in Public

It is encouraging to see vaccine distribution speeding up around the world. With inoculation rates creeping upwards by the day, states lifting restrictions meant to curb further transmission, and hopes that the US can return to a sense of normalcy by Independence Day, it is easy to understand why many are eager to resist following further restrictions and lockdowns. People are tired of being away from family and friends and want things to return to what was. While the definition of “what was” may be forever different, it certainly is not out of the realm of possibility to want a new normal to form so people can be free to live the lives that they want.

However, until we reach that point of herd immunity, we must continue to be mindful with the situations that we put ourselves in. According to the newest round of CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people (defined as people who are two weeks past their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the first of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) can meet indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or having to observe a certain social distance. Vaccinated people can also visit with unvaccinated people without a mask, but unvaccinated should be conscious of the risk to contract COVID from fellow unvaccinated people.

Whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, though, the guidelines state that people must continue to wear masks and social distance while in public. This does seem annoying to those who have done everything right, including following all the guidelines and getting vaccinated when advised. However, it is the right thing to do, considering that society has not reached herd immunity yet, and in public we interact with strangers that have various backgrounds and medical histories.

It seems redundant, perhaps frustrating, to keep saying that soon enough, this will all be over. But until it is, and afterwards, Bomark will continue to provide safety equipment, including face masks, gloves, respirators and temperature scanners.

double mask

Double Masking Effectively

With COVID-19 vaccines developed and distribution beginning slowly, it is easy to see the light at the tunnel’s end. However, now more than ever is a time to remain vigilant and protect yourself against the spread of COVID-19. New strains of the virus are being reported worldwide, with some considered more contagious and even more deadly than previous strains. The efficacy of face masks in preventing COVID spread has already been proven many times over. Taking the extra step in wearing two face masks or double masking effectively could enhance protection even more. If there are more barriers between your face, nose, and mouth and outside contaminants, there is a less likely chance that these contaminants can invade and expose you to the virus.

double mask

There are several ways to ensure these barriers remain as protective and comfortable as possible, including double masking effectively. An N95 mask is the best first barrier on the market, offering the most rigorous filtering capacity one can get. If you do not have access to an N95 mask, a KN95 mask provides nearly the same protection when worn correctly. The importance of putting this rigid layer on first as opposed to a surgical mask or cloth mask is paramount, as it is the last line of defense against any droplets that a second mask may not catch. When putting on more than one mask, also ensure that you can breathe as you normally would. Wearing double face masks reduces the possibility of contaminants can cause more problems instead of solving them. Who wants to wear a mask combination that always makes them feel like they are about to pass out? When deciding on your combination, make sure that the masks you are wearing are not only practical but are made of materials and fabrics that do not hinder your ability to use them comfortably. Avoid masks made of materials like vinyl and those containing valves or vents, as masks made with these materials go against the intended purpose.

Bomark currently has several different personal protective equipment in stock, including N95, KN95, and Surgical Face Masks. Continue to be responsible by wearing a face covering (or two) where applicable, and together, we will get through this.

The Importance of Replenishing Masks

Wearing a mask has become part of our lives as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. What was once a novel injection into our daily routines has become a regular occurrence. Masks are not just about protecting you or your family members, but also the people in the supermarkets we visit, the parks we walk in, the hospitals where our essential workers grind with tireless effort. Therefore, it is important to not only consider the quality of the masks we wear, but the frequency at which we use each individual mask.

A study (​Effects of mask-wearing on the inhalability and deposition of airborne SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in human upper airway​) was recently conducted with the objective of finding the effects of mask wearing on airflow and the absorption of viral particles on the face and respiratory tract. The study found that when masks were worn, the speed of airflow and particles slowed. The redistribution of airflow favored inhalability of particles into the nose and the upper airway. A typical surgical mask, when worn for the first time, is able to filter these particles with a 65% filtration efficiency (FE), thus reducing the viral load by half when the smallest of particles are inhaled. However, the slowing of particles after wearing a mask can increase the chance of particles to land on the face or be inhaled in either the mouth or nose. When consistently used, the FE of the mask drops to as low as 25%, making prevention considerably less effective.

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