San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, here are the best masks for Covid: P100>N95>surgical>cloth. The most expensive is $23.

Geoffrey Greer

A mask a day keeps Covid away.

Photo from Imgflip

Now that we have a year of data, the best masks for Covid have been studied by scientists and worn by the public. With Covid hitting all-time highs in the United States in January, let's take a look at the best masks.

The Best Mask: Elastomeric eN95 mask with a P100 filter

According to Harvard Business Revenue, the best mask is an elastomeric mask with a P100 filter. This is a reusable plastic mask that provides protection equivalent to an N95 mask. If you upgrade to a P100 filter, it provides enhanced protection in exchange for reduced airflow, making breathing slightly more difficult.

Photo from Amazon

As you can see from the image, this mask does have valves so it is not allowed in many places in San Francisco. Simply wear a cloth mask over it and you'll be fine.

The CDC provides a detailed list and explanation of these high-end masks and filters.

Second Best Mask: N95

N95 masks are great if you can get them. They continue to be expensive and in short supply.

Photo from 3M

You can find them on eBay or at a hardware store. Be careful that you do not accidentally end up with a KN95 mask. KN95 masks are manufactured in China and scientists have repeatedly found that they do not meet N95 standards.

Third Best Mask: Surgical Masks

Surgical masks are one-use masks that are now widely available for less than 25 cents each.

Photo by Dr Abrar Ahmad Chughtai, UNSW

Worst Mask: Cloth Masks

I'm sorry but these popular and inexpensive masks are the worst masks according to scientists. Ask yourself this question: If cloth masks were better than surgical masks, wouldn't medical workers use them?

Photo from Etsy

One problem with cloth masks is that they retain moisture which makes for a cozy home for Covid and makes it easier to get infected. If you are going to wear a cloth mask, make sure to keep it dry.

Now You Know

You are now armed with the best available information about masks. Now go take care of yourself until everyone is vaccinated and the disease has died down!

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