Topic to Discuss the Relative Merits of Different Types of Masks

This debate keeps coming up again and again in the “Continuing Coronavirus Happenings (Part X)” threads, so I thought it would save everyone a lot of time and trouble to just shift all of that over to its own topic.

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This headline is exactly the kind of thing that (I think) started the initial argument.
On one side we have, “those cloth masks are ineffective, it only matters or helps if you wear proper N95 type masks.”
And on another side we have, “wearing any mask is better than wearing no mask, so if cloth is all you got, please wear that.”
I’m solidly in the camp of, “clearly, a better mask is better, but any mask is also clearly better than no mask.”
I’ve been wearing N95 covered by a cloth mask just because it seems to make everything seal tighter, but even that, I can feel all the air leaking around the edges. I just try not to breath too much and GTFO as quickly as possible. :woman_shrugging:t2:

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You can never be too careful. I have been using surgical masks religiously, but the number of infections in Japan has risen twelvefold in just the last week and I am starting to think that I will need to stock up on KN94 masks for any outing that involves boarding a train (which is just about every outing other than my nearest supermarket). I am starting to feel like just not going out at all is going to be my best option, but I realize that isn’t an option for everyone.

In any case, I do not want to be anywhere near any person who is not wearing a mask. I keep having this bad dream where I’m out shopping and I suddenly realize, “Oh my god, I forgot my mask!”

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Maybe I’m misreading it, but the article seems focused on using masks to avoid catching Covid without ever addressing that their main purpose has always been to avoid passing it on to other people.

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That’s a good point, but I think that the target audience of the article is people who already wear masks, so it’s not a question of “should you wear a mask,” but “which mask should you wear.”

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I saw at the pharmacy yesterday that they had packs of ten KF94 masks for just 800 yen, so I picked some up.

I find the KF94 a lot easier to breathe in than the KN94, but it also doesn’t feel quite as snug around my chin. It definitely seems to be a major step up from a plain old surgical mask, though, and 80 yen each is not bad at all. I think that I will stick with KF94 unless I am just popping into the nearby supermarket during non-crowded hours (I still have a lot of surgical masks).

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