When you buy one of these masks an N95 mask is donated to a frontline health worker

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/04/when-you-buy-one-of-these-masks-an-n95-mask-is-donated-to-a-frontline-health-worker.html

Hrm. I applaud the sentiment, I really do. What’s confusing to me is the mask problem isn’t about money.

The problem is the suppliers being sold out of the masks. It’s the same with gowns, etc. We’ve had to resort to using subs, subs of subs, etc., at times because the brands we order aren’t available. We’re using the CDC guidelines for N95 mask reuse, and because of that we have, thankfully, plenty of masks to go around.

Maybe it is different for some other hospitals, but I am having a hard time imagining any hospital right now saying “yeah, we could order these, if we could only afford them.” I doubt anyone is skimping on the PPE expense. Our warehousing of it has expanded considerably.

So really, given the problem is everyone is trying to buy N95 masks and creating a shortage, I am not sure how this company buying up N95 masks to give to the places that can’t get masks because people are buying them up… helps? Maybe it would be better to not buy them, so the hospitals have more supply for their demand?


Or maybe they just donate to hospitals to help them buy PPE?

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Better, since they don’t make masks more scarce, but it still doesn’t make the masks more attainable for the hospital. :man_shrugging:

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I really don’t understand the thinking behind funded charity models.

So I should buy a mask to get you people to donate one you must already have?

this strikes me a lot like donating groceries to charity after you buy something, as if my capitalism input made a difference in the charity output from others.

Kinda makes me sick.

If you can be charitable, do it. Don’t expect others to indirectly fund your business being charitable. If you can be charitable, just be charitable.

Its like someone said a few months ago about the Whole Foods giving drive- they ask people to donate stuff they already bought- when it’s on their shelves already. If you have the funds, stop expecting others to subsidize your charity with their money so you can do good in your name.

If you have the means- help others directly. Whole Foods definitely has the means to help on their own. All this isn’t real charity- its capitalism leeching off of charity.


Anyone who is thinking of using fabric masks instead of korean made Kn95’s etc… you can get MERV16 filter material by the roll, and cut out filters that will actually fill the interior of your mask.

My understanding is that the MERV16 rating is approximately equivalent to N95.

My wife still works in clinic (Vet Emergency crit care specialist), and we’ve got access to N95’s, but have been using disposable KN95s (FDA approved) or reusing a box of n95’s I had before the pandemic hit.

I’ve been using a fabric mask with MERV16 material in it to keep the “real” stuff for my wife, as I’ve now go a consulting job that’s work from home.


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