We have a ways to go before we can go back to pre-COVID-19 living conditions. Though vaccines are now being produced and administered, the virus is still spreading around the world.
Vaccine availability is different from one location to the next, and jurisdictions have their own distribution plans based on priority. Tap or click here to see how to check your eligibility.
If you want to be safe, practice social distancing and wear a mask. In fact, the CDC has new advice on the proper use of masks. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of our need for protection by producing and selling fake masks. There is a lot of junk out there, so we are here to help you make the right choices.
False sense of security
As reported by Associated Press, the government seized 10 million fake 3M N95 masks from five states in recent weeks. Just this week, Homeland Security found hundreds of thousands of counterfeit masks in a warehouse on the east coast.
These masks were intended for hospitals and medical facilities, among other agencies. The investigation also revealed thousands of fakes in 12 states that may have been sold to healthcare workers.
Anyone purchasing 3M branded masks should check out the company’s tips on how to spot a fake.
The genuine article
The CDC now recommends wearing two masks: a fabric mask with a disposable surgical mask underneath. You can find any variety of fabric masks online or even make your own. When it comes to surgical masks, however, you want a legitimate product.
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Here are two options that offer solid protection.
1. Bigox disposable masks
These Bigox disposable 3-ply masks have multiple layers of protection. The outermost layer is a non-woven fabric, followed by a melt-blown polypropylene filtration fabric and then a skin-friendly composite non-woven fiber layer on the inside. Elastic ear straps comfortably keep the masks in place. An adjustable metal nose clip ensures a good fit and can help reduce eyeglass fogging. The blue masks come in packs of 50.
2. Disposable 3-ply masks with elastic earloop
These masks also have three layers of non-woven fabric for extra protection. The breathable melt-blown fabric is flame retardant, elastic, durable and spit-resistant. An adjustable nose clip and elastic ear loops help to keep the masks where they belong. Choose from multiple colors, including black, blue, grey, pink, purple, rainbow and two different star patterns. These masks are sold in packs of 50.
A better way to wear a mask
Masks can get uncomfortable, especially if you are wearing one all day for work. Some common complaints are difficulty breathing, facial breakouts and eyeglass fogging. If you work from home, you won’t need to deal with these issues as often. Tap or click here for 10 of the most lucrative remote jobs.
Face mask brackets alleviate some discomfort by providing a space between your skin and the mask. They’re easy to use and fit right underneath the mask.
Here are three brackets that can make being safe less of a hassle.
1. Mepsirit face mask bracket with inner support frame
This six-pack of mask brackets also comes with six mask extenders. The form-fitting brackets are made from food-grade silicone. They go under the mask to give your mouth and nose more breathing room without compromising the mask’s function. The adjustable mask extenders hook to your mask straps and rest on the back of your head, alleviating pressure from the straps.
2. Silicone Mask Bracket for Cloth Mask Inner Support Frame Face Mask Cage Insert
If you don’t need mask extenders, you can simply order the brackets. These come in packs of five and are made from food-grade silicone. These brackets are non-toxic, odorless, washable and can be sterilized in high heat. You can cut them to fit your face and use double-sided tape or thread to attach them to your mask.
3. Silicone Face Mask Bracket, 3D Mask Bracket Inner Support Frame
This 10-pack of brackets fits around your nose and mouth, keeping the mask from touching those sensitive areas. They are made from food-grade silicone and are washable and reusable. The brackets can be used with a variety of cloth and disposable masks. A single order gives you enough to hand out to friends and family.