Canadian doctor-dancers demonstrate how easy it is to breathe in an N95 mask (respirator)

Originally published at: Canadian doctor-dancers demonstrate how easy it is to breathe in an N95 mask (respirator) | Boing Boing


Over three years in a pandemic, and we STILL have to convince people that life saving medical supplies won’t kill you. :woman_facepalming:


It’s odd that hospital employees don’t wear masks, pandemic or no pandemic. Doubly odd when you consider that those same employees use (and are likely required to use) extensive bacteria safety protocols.


It’s annoying, and mine tend to push down on my nose making it harder to breath that way, but I still wear them in setting with a lot of people for more than 15 min.

Pro tip - if you have glasses, use a tissue at the bridge of the nose and it prevents fogging. (Though it may be contributing to the whole issue above.)


While working in hospital… Looks to side yep that’s a box of n95s and a box of examination masks. Looks around yep I see masks on people…

Universal masking isn’t in place in most hospitals right now. Rather people use a process to determine when one is needed, and when it may not be, depending on the situation. Patient Interaction specific Personal Protective Equipment decisions are guided by risk modeling (there are training courses everyone takes on this) plus extra caution as warranted.

Broken toe? Probably no mask. Productive cough and fever? Yeah lets grab an N95. Procedure time? Mask. Coffee time? No mask today but that could change.


N95s are perfectly fine to breathe through. I keep one in the kitchen for frying off chillis so it doesn’t set off my asthma. It works, more or less, which shows, IMO, how damn good they are.


I recently got Covid. To protect my family I self-isolated and wore FFP3 masks (equivalent to N99) for about a week, even when I was sleeping.

Breathing was OK, though I found it harder in very hot weather.

The main problem was that the ear loops gave me a quite painful abrasion round the top front of my ears. I understood why proper surgical masks have head ties instead.


Fun post! I really like the follow-up video showing all the work involving Dr. Paul.
(Can’t see Dr.Eve’s account.)

Canada is a big place.

ETA Dr. Paul is based in Victoria, BC
ETA2 Dr. Eve is doing a fellowship with Dr. Paul.


Yeah, but we’re all the same from coast to coast to coast. :beaver:


As much as I support their message, wouldn’t have been more convincing if they’d use a wheezy person with respiratory issues, rather than two folks who get plenty of cardiovascular exercise on the regular?

If you happen to already have severe respiratory issues the last thing you want is a bad respiratory infection. So regardless of inconvenience, extra personal safety choices during respiratory virus season are just a good idea.

Also typically people with respiratory challenges aren’t going to be demoing cardio heavy athletic activities even without a mask.


I did say I supported their message. :man_shrugging:

But the typical complaint is that they “can’t breathe” through the masks even in normal situations. This is a situation I’m talking about. Of course nobody with severe respiratory issues is going to be dancing or whatever in the video, but they could be shown wearing the mask in everyday activity and proving that it’s possible.

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Anything with ear loops does not give all that good protection because it can’t seal tightly enough against your face. It might be N99 level filter media but it won’t be N99 protection.

I find the same effect with hot weather–when it’s cool I have actually forgotten I was wearing an N95.

As for cardio-heavy–I tried an experiment last year. R95 rather than N95 as the material is easier to breathe through–out hiking, I could push my heart rate just as high wearing the mask or not–I did not repeat the test down in Death Valley where I can push my heart rate even higher. In the mountains my gut feel (never properly tested) is that an N95 had about the same effect as being 1,000’ higher.


The thing that gets me:
If you’d’ve told me that Covid would result in a million dead within a year because we politicized it. I’d’ve been right there with you.

If you told me that doctors would reduce their mask usage in hospital because of it? :lying_face:
I’m not usually the sort to smugly judge other peoples’ intelligence or anything, but medical doctors? Nurses? They should genuinely know better. It’s scary when they’re refusing to cooperate lately.

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I have exercise induced asthma, a few years ago I ran a half marathon in freezing rain in single digit temperatures. I wore a full head balaclava with only my eyes showing and a second neck gaiter over my mouth and nose. The cold air also does a number on my breathing. I did not die.

I also took a stress test with an N95 and a surgical mask on top, my oxygen levels remained normal. The tech and the cardiologist present never once thought I would die wearing the mask.

Those are the two stories I tell when someone says wearing a mask can hurt you. Of course there are exceptions but most people can wear a mask for brief periods of time in public.

I went to the doctor yesterday, it’s a large facility that also has a large testing lab and cancer treatment center.

I was the only one wearing a mask. I was in the waiting room of my doctor and a guy was sneezing these wet sneezes without even attempting to cover his sneeze.

It was all I could do to not tell him exactly what I thought.


Mask to dance, practice medicine, play hockey, it’s all good.


If they’re fogging, doesn’t that mean the fit is bad? Air shouldn’t be coming out the edge at all, it should be coming out the filter material.

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It does come out of the filter material, and some of it goes up and into your glasses. Breathing through your mouth makes it worse.

The little rectangle of tissue on top helps absorb the moisture so it doesn’t do that.

When this thing all started I saw a video from someone in Japan, where mask wearing is way more common even before this, and this was their little hack and it works great both with N95 and cloth masks.


When I returned to my gym after my 2nd COVID vaccine, I religiously wore an N95 mask (purchased from a big-box home improvement store, so it’s the kind worn by people working in particulate-heavy environments prior to the pandemic), including when I did my cardio work-out. While it was a little more challenging to breathe than without a mask, my biggest issue was perspiration–it was hot and sweaty in that thing! :hot_face:


I worked one summer in a factory spray painting sheet metal used in assembly. We had to wear a mask like this 8 hours a day:

In a small enclosed paint station in a non-air conditioned factory. I didn’t die.

None of the masks recommended for COVID phase me.