White House adviser Dr Anthony Fauci recently endorsed wearing two masks for better protection from the coronavirus and new variants derived from that.
It is reported that the practice of wearing two masks generated buzz when people were seen wearing two masks at president Joe Biden’s inauguration. It seems viewers noted that poet Amanda Gorman and Pete Buttigieg, who is Biden’s nominee to run the Transportation Department, wore surgical masks underneath cloth masks.
Fauci commented on the latest practice and told NBC News’s Today that it makes sense: “If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective. That’s the reason why you see people either double masking or doing a version of an N-95 [a particulate-filtering facepiece respirator].”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends that people wear masks that have “two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric”, face masks can block up to 70% of coronavirus particles.
According to CNBC, researchers say that wearing a surgical mask underneath a cloth mask provides maximal protection because the surgical mask acts as a filter and the cloth adds an additional layer and helps with fit.
“In places where it’s difficult to maintain social distance, such as on an airplane or at the store, two masks would provide additional protection,” the publication writes. “The next best option would be a three-layer mask that contains an inner filter.”
What’s more, disposable surgical masks made from a plastic-derived material called polypropylene have been shown to be more effective at filtering particles than just a cloth mask.
These discussions come after Biden signed executive orders that mandate wearing masks on airplanes, trains, buses, airports as well as on federal property. In South Africa, the wearing of a face mask is mandatory for every person when in a public place, excluding a child under the age of six years. Even when double-masking, it is also noted that the general public should still use social distancing practices, wash their hands regularly and avoid gathering indoors.