With vaccines becoming available to more and more of the population, it may feel like the virus is less of a threat and masking less necessary, but that’s just not the case. Even in the face of this progress, the virus is raging on and it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe. For those of you in California, you may have received or seen recommendations to double mask and found yourself wondering if this is a bit overkill. Here are some important things to consider when deciding whether or not to double mask:
The CDC shared that in a lab test conducted on dummies, layering masks over medical masks resulted in a 95% decrease in exposure. That’s incredibly significant, especially if you’re in a high-risk population and haven’t received your vaccine(s) yet. Another important thing to keep in mind here is that by doubling up on masks, we limit the potential of spreading the virus, especially if we’re asymptomatic.
With the excitement over the success of the vaccines, it can be easy to forget that new variations of the virus continue to spread throughout the world--some even more contagious than COVID-19. Double masking enables us to help mitigate the further spread of these variants and keep more people safe.
While double masking has been shown to be effective, it may not be the right option for everyone as it could “impede breathing or obstruct peripheral vision for some wearers.” It’s always worthwhile to check with your doctor to ensure you make the best choice for yourself.
The California Department of Health recommends taking extra precautions in circumstances like the following: Connecting with people from outside your household indoors, in situations where you cannot effectively socially distance yourself from others, and to prevent exposing high-risk people in public spaces.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is protecting ourselves, loved ones, and communities. By taking extra precautions, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants--saving countless lives.