Okay, you’ve mastered the mask-wearing technique. It’s almost instinctive. Increased personal and public safety during the COVID-19 epidemic is a modest price to pay.

However, you see and hear news headlines that make you question. Is it really necessary to wear two masks at this point?

Simple answer: Almost certainly not.

A somewhat more complicated answer: It depends entirely on the thickness of your disposable mask and how well it fits your face.

Tight fittings and multi-layered disposable face masks – 

To put it another way, if your favorite cloth mask already has numerous layers, you’re good to go. Simply wash it regularly and replace it as it wears out. There’s also no need to wear numerous medical disposable face masks if you’re already wearing them.

If you have a thin, single-layer fabric mask, however, you should double up. Alternatively, you can triple up. The many layers work together to screen the virus-carrying droplets.

The quantity of respiratory droplets harboring the virus that passes through the mask is reduced by adding extra layers of material to the mask or by wearing two masks.

Also, double-check that your mask is properly fitted. It should completely cover the bridge of your nose, the tops of in cheeks, the sides of your face, and under your chin.

Mask vigilance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a federal mandate that took effect in February. Face masks must be worn on all aircraft, trains, taxis, rideshares, and public transportation, as well as inside transportation hubs, according to the regulation. It further states that masks worn in those locations must have many layers and no exhalation valves.

Even as vaccines against the virus become more widely available, wearing a protective mask is critical. The same may be said about routinely washing your hands and maintaining a safe physical distance.

Better fitting

Many types of masks do not suit your face perfectly. You’ve probably observed that when you breathe in and out, air escapes through the sides of your mask.

This faulty seal can not only allow virus-infected respiratory droplets to escape, but also allow them to enter your mask. The use of two masks can help to avoid this from happening.

When you’re wearing two masks, the outer mask might gently press on the inner mask’s edges. The inner mask fits more closely to your skin and generates a better seal when this happens.

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