It’s Thursday. Time for some rants.

Photo by CDC on

But before the rants, here are the WaPo’s recommendations for what to look for in a mask. You probably already know most of this because you are smart and well-informed, but just in case…

“So, we’re not going to recommend any specific brands. There simply hasn’t been enough medical research comparing retail mask options for us to rank any particular product over others. But we can tell you what to avoid, and give you some advice to help you narrow your web searches and shopping list.

Avoid futuristic or gimmicky looking masks. Quite a few sellers have been advertising masks with “breathable valves” or vents sewn into the fabric. These don’t work, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No matter how slick it looks, the valve defeats the purpose of the mask, which is to completely cover and filter your airways. Stay away from any mask with zippers, Velcro or mouth flaps for the same reasons.

Surgical masks are good, if you can get one. The safest mask you can wear is an N95 mask, but these are in short supply and generally reserved for medical professionals. Simpler surgical or “medical procedure” masks — the powder blue ones in every hospital TV show you’ve ever seen — are good too, but again, you may have trouble finding a genuine one, depending where you live.

That leaves the wide, wide world of simple fabric masks sold online and in stores. Many of them resemble the blue TV doctor masks, while others have patterns and look more like an article of clothing. How to pick the best one?

Look for quality material. A non-peer reviewed study by the Royal Society found that masks with a high thread-count, made of cotton or a cotton-blend fabric performed better than competitors. Definitely stay away from loose-woven or knitted material, as well as neck gaiters. Also stay away from material that’s hard to breathe through, such as vinyl.

“Layers are good. Masks work by physically catching infectious particles as soon as they leave your mouth. Some particles will manage to pass through the first layer of fabric, so good masks should have at least two layers. Tom Frieden, who directed the CDC for eight years during the Obama administration, recommends looking for masks made of three layers.

Washable is good. A good quality cotton-based mask can simply be hand washed with detergent or thrown in the washing machine at the end of the day, per the CDC. Just make sure you wash it after every use, or the mask can build up bacteria that you’ll be breathing in the next time you wear it.

“A web search should turn up plenty of options for washable, cotton-based, double or triple layer face masks. Any of them will be better than wearing no mask, and the differences between them may not be a matter of objective quality so much as which one works best for you.

The mask needs to fit you, literally: If it’s too big and fits loosely around your cheeks, unfiltered air will leak out the edges. If it’s too small, it won’t fully cover your airways. But a mask also needs to fit your lifestyle and personal quirks. Find one that is comfortable and that you like wearing (or at least don’t totally hate.) It won’t matter how high the thread count is or how well it filters microscopic particles if you can’t stand keeping it on your face.”


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6 Responses to It’s Thursday. Time for some rants.

  1. gayle says:

    It’s a pity that the John Luzar rant is too long to fit on a t-shirt…

  2. Kitten WAW says:

    RE: Countries that ban US citizens. This is the greatest advert for travel outside the US I’ve ever seen. “Come! Enjoy a visit the rest of the world, while we’ve got all those rude American @$$holes locked out!”

  3. I’m posting that John Luzar op ed in my Facebook. I agree with every word

  4. k says:

    I love the rant, but I Laughed! Out! Loud! over Hillary’s campaign.

  5. I do find it interesting how people today see MLK as this great historical figure, while completely ignoring the fact that in his day he was not always treated as such. And also, they are not doing well by the people who are truly carrying on MLK’s message and actions today. Sigh.

  6. Kathleen Walsh says:

    Back in 2016, I recognized the evil in a man who mocked the physically challenged, who advocated that his followers at rallies beat up any dissenters who were there, and that he promised to pay the legal fees of those who did so. That was enough for me. to have an unfavourable opinion of Trump. Then there were his comments caught on tape of how he would trespass on women, push them hard and grab them by the pussy because he was famous and could get away with it. He then tried to deny it was his voice. He did not pay workers according to his agreed-upon contracts. Plain as day, right? Those who waved this aside had to create an inner cognitive dissonance. Now there are nearly 550 immigrant children who have been permanently separated from their parents as there is no way to find their deported parents. Permanent orphans were created. Yes, evil is staring the US voters in the face and they turn to look at some other rationalization sucb as his appointment of conservative judges who favour the repeal of same-sex marriages, and now here the world is, dealing with such horrendous harmful consequences from his policies and actions! When Pope Francis himself goes public endorsing same sex civil marriages, you can tell how far off track POTUS is! At the time in 2016, I was really trying to understand why people would support him, so I asked some American Trump supporters with a mind open with curiosity. I was told it was because he promised to shrink oversight legislation and the government. Those with whom I spoke wanted a smaller government with less regulations. That was the only reason expressed to me. This has resulted in the foxes overseeing the henhouses with putting people in charge of the government regulatory arms who actively work to dismantle them, such as in the fields of education and the environment, but basically in every field. The result is also the decimation of the department of foreign affairs with hundreds of vacancies left unfilled and many countries without diplomats. Every aspect of management seems deplorable to me when looked at closely. This to me is another example of evil. because it has been done deliberately. I just am grateful and hopeful to see so many voting early in order to have their votes counted, I am a Canadian cheerleader for what could be done better in and for your country! However, if Biden does get elected, these 40% of folks who are loyal to the present POTUS must still be brought on board, to address in concrete ways their reasonable grievances, lest in another 4 years this entire pattern be repeated. Good luck to you and your nation.

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