July 27, 2020

Dear editor:

Authorities in the USA have recommended that all people should wear “face coverings” to help slow the spread of COVID-19. To me, this was mostly a reckless suggestion because it permits people to wear ineffective, single layer materials like scarf’s and bandanas. These coverings are too sheer and permeable to viruses, which endangers everybody’s life. People who wear single-layer face coverings are at a high risk of getting sick and then passing it on and killing others.

One suggestion is that if you can blow and move a candle flame through your mask then it is too sheer.

The surgeon general recommended that masks can be made of a triple fold 100 percent cotton material, which has an effectiveness of 65 percent (the same as a disposable surgical mask). Single layer coverings are about 12 percent effective, whereas a double-layer covering is about 25 percent effective.

People sometimes complain that they cannot breathe through a multi-layer fabric mask. The safe alternative is a disposable, triple layer surgical mask, which is much easier to breathe through.

The best face masks are made from nanofiber material that is about 95 percent impermeable to viruses. You can buy 50 nanofiber surgical masks on Amazon for $30 and they can be cleaned with 70 percent ethyl alcohol and re-used 10 times. The alternative is a meltblown surgical mask (which looks identical to nanofiber), but it cannot be cleaned and re-used.

If we would all wear an appropriate face mask it would significantly lower the spread of COVID-19 and save countless lives.

Sincerely,

Michael Hahn

Highland

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