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  My intent with starting this thread is to showcase masks that are good, bad and ugly.  I have no way of testing masks for their effectiveness in protecting the wearer from getting or transmitting a virus or any other disease or condition.  

  We should stay out of the politics of "having" to wear masks and in this thread, accept that they are now part of our EDC kit. 

Mask number one is from TYR Tactical and I bought them for my family early in the pandemic.  We were planning to do some in-state travel and the rules at that time were still in flux.   I wanted to buy from a tactical company and the TYR mask was early to market and available.   We also bought filter packs, again not knowing what we might need.

The mask itself was $20 and a three pack of N95 filters is $23.  Not cheap at all.  I had thought that tie behind the head straps would be better than behind the ear, but that turns out not to be the case with these.  The cords on these are para cord and are a bit bulky.  I cut the top cord and ran both the top and bottom cord through a toggle lock, before using a GITD end to secure the bottom. Now, I can throw the whole thing over my neck and secure it behind my ears. 

This is easily stuffed into a pocket if not worn around the neck and will be my "take a mask because I may need a mask"  mask.

http://www.tyrtactical.com/pro...-dlv-soft-face-mask/

Mask number two is from Outdoor Research.   OR has been teasing these for weeks and they just recently became available.  Their good guy price is $15 and they come with three filters.  They are a polyester material, are well contoured to fit the face and seem well engineered. The metal nose piece is flexible and helps to seat the mask when wearing glasses to help prevent fogging.   The earloops are both elastic and adjustable, which was a major plus for me.  I'm actually looking forward to using this mask this coming winter to wear while running, hiking and snowshoeing to warm my breath when I don't need a full face cover or balaclava.  I may tinker with a homemade, fleece insert.

This will be my "take a mask when I know I'm going to do something specific" mask.  There's a decent article at Outside Magazine's on-line site, that features OR and their production of both the civilian masks and those they made for the .mil.

https://www.outdoorresearch.co...face-mask-kit-283298

 

 

Original Post

I have asthma, courtesy of the resort countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.  I've found, after trying 3 different types of masks, it is just too difficult on my breathing.  I've also been confronted by employees at a couple of places, loudly, and had to explain that I have a respiratory condition, while everyone is listening.  So, I made some fucking masks.   I made enough for a group of family and friends, as we are leaving for a trip on July 11.  Complete, smartass masks.

Facemask

 

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Figured I'd share since I went through a couple of the "cool guy" Covid masks ....

We have a mandatory mask order for any inside structure, so I've had a chance to really take a look at some of the tactical company ones and use 3, so in order from least favorite to my preferred:

First Spear reusable face mask w/Drawbridge

https://www.first-spear.com/reusable-face-mask

First Spear's mask has a laser cut "ear saver" called a drawbridge and a couple toggles, and is a bit involved to set up for a simple mask.  Once you get it set it's a pretty straightforward mask,  but I personally found it a bit too complicated a situation to quickly put on and take off if you're running into a store for a quick grocery run or pickup. 

Crye Precision SDNY Mask:

http://cryeprecision.com/Produ...2lg0_sdny-mask-2pack

Crye's is even simpler - it's laser-cut with a sewn-in filter.  I think the material is the same as the knee stretch stuff (super technical term there) they use on their combat pants.  The masks come in different sizes, have no straps/loops/nonsense, and are pretty straightforward.  I like the mask, but the filter issue may turn some off - also, I found that because of my parent's blessing me with their awesome British genetics, I don't have a strong chin so if I converse while wearing it, it'll slip down off my face.  I also am a bit concerned about the ear loops, as they seem easily prone to tearing, but I haven't experienced it yet.  The laser cut can also be a bit rough on anyone with sensitive skin around the ears.  They come in 2 packs and in S/M/L and in  grey, coyote, and MC I think - I got the grey ones in Large, so the issue I experience could be due to sizing.  For the cost, though, I'm not going to try a different size.

 

OC Tactical Face Mask

https://stores.octactical.com/oc-tactical-face-mask/

I got this one because I'm a nerd for Tiger Stripe camo, and this is actually my go-to mask for errands and quick trips.  It has a small pocket for replaceable filters and is a basic design, and the sewn edge is stiff enough to fold for safety glasses/eye wear (yes, even some ranges around here require masks).  I like it because it's really just an overbuilt version of the medical style masks, is simple enough to carry in a pocket, and fits my face perfectly.  Plus, they're 7 bucks.

 

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Small consumer warning.  If you are buying a mask, especially a custom mask, over the internet.......most, maybe all, are made in China.  Maybe they are scams and you don't ever get them after payment.  Maybe they are legit, but they are sitting in a warehouse until they are accepted for shipment to the US.  Either way, you don't have your mask.  So buy local if you have an option.

For those that don't tolerate masks for whatever reason, I would suggest a face shield or half face shield like these. The point of universal cloth masking is  to prevent the spread of droplets to others.

Full face shields don't have any evidence right now to stop transmission/ as source control but have been shown to protect the wearer against droplets.

My educated guess is half face masks work better than no mask in stopping droplets from the wearer. A full face shield would likely do better, and also provide some degree of protection to the wearer. 

Caveat is a face shield/half face shield alone would likely not be allowed into most medical facilities. 

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@Community Member posted:

I have asthma, courtesy of the resort countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.  I've found, after trying 3 different types of masks, it is just too difficult on my breathing.  I've also been confronted by employees at a couple of places, loudly, and had to explain that I have a respiratory condition, while everyone is listening.  So, I made some fucking masks.   I made enough for a group of family and friends, as we are leaving for a trip on July 11.  Complete, smartass masks.

Facemask

 

Slight thread drift. I’ve got that shirt as well. 

8266F660-3F6B-4101-9E8D-A8051BB11F4B

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Ok I'll share. 

20200605_200424

I bought it off Etsy. It came from Bulgaria. That's right, Bulgaria! I didn't notice until I got the confirmation mail. Shipping was like 2 weeks tops.

My boss HATES it.

Oh, ETA: My daily mask is made by Propel Masks. Saw them on SSD. Light performance cloth. Stays cool, has aluminum nose contour. 5 masks for $30.

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@Community Member posted:

For those that don't tolerate masks for whatever reason, I would suggest a face shield or half face shield like these. The point of universal cloth masking is  to prevent the spread of droplets to others.

Full face shields don't have any evidence right now to stop transmission/ as source control but have been shown to protect the wearer against droplets.

My educated guess is half face masks work better than no mask in stopping droplets from the wearer. A full face shield would likely do better, and also provide some degree of protection to the wearer. 

Caveat is a face shield/half face shield alone would likely not be allowed into most medical facilities. 

Helpful information - thanks!

Another option, depending on one's situation/condition, might be a half face respirator with particulate filters, like this:

7093

That's my setup. No, it doesn't protect the people around me from any germs that I might be exhaling (unless I layer a surgical mask over it, which I've seen done), but it satisfies the letter of our local "mandatory face covering" order, and it seals better and provides better filtering for me than any N95 mask. I've been using P100 rated 3M 7093 NIOSH particulate filters, which "breathe" MUCH better than the multiple layers of cloth found in typical commercial or home made masks. 3M also markets filters like the "Advanced Electret Media" 2291 and 2297 which supposedly provide a 30% lower initial pressure drop compared to standard filters. I haven't had a chance to test the "easier breathing" models against my current filters, but I'm happy with their performance, and I prefer the encapsulated design. The unprotected respirator exhaust port doesn't protect others, but it does vent effortlessly, and my glasses don't steam up like they do when I wear a surgical mask.

It's really all about the filters.  

 

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@Community Member posted:

 

That's my setup. No, it doesn't protect the people around me from any germs that I might be exhaling (unless I layer a surgical mask over it, which I've seen done), but it satisfies the letter of our local "mandatory face covering" order, and it seals better and provides better filtering for me than any N95 mask.

 

I think vented masks are a good option, especially by those who have obstructive lung diseases  (like COPD or asthma) . By protecting yourself so well, you are also helping protect others. If you don't get sick, you can't be a vector. One less case means one less test, which helps decrease testing time, which means more timely contact tracing, and one less potential hospital bed. If we assume the average infected person spreads COVID-19 to 2-3 others, then one less sick person has exponential benefits. 

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Just received my Wuhan Virus protection masks from Outdoor Research...the fit and function is excellent. Light weight and the design keeps the mask off my mouth and nostrils allowing for a little “air pocket” that makes inhaling / exhaling much easier that the gators or surgical mask I have been using. The replacement filters go in and stay put fairly decently and while they do not offer the protection that a properly fit N95 mask or respirator do it seems better than what I see most folks using.

Rich275, thanks for the tip!

I got the Outdoor Research and Mystery Ranch masks this week. I like the Outdoor Research. I like the replaceable filters, but the replacement filters don't stay in stock. I got an alert that they were back in stock and an hour later they were gone. I get a better "seal" on the Mystery Ranch and it seems like it filters better than the OR without a filter. For daily use, I prefer the Mystery Ranch. Your face may vary.

Truckie, I use neck gators daily at work (Wuhan virus has nothing to do with it, more about keeping the sun off me and holding my earpiece in). Condor lightweight neck gators are fairly okish. They’re too long for me, I cut them in 1/2 (2 for 1 bonus!) and they are pretty stretchy and will not fall down even during intense movement.

I’ve been experimenting with making my own (well my wife...) out of our issues undershirt material, two piece design lightly tacked together so it will break away if grabbed in a fight. 

I ordered 3x (9 total) extra filters when I got my OR masks...should last me a bit.

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I have a similar setup to djohn (with cloth mask over the vent) and prefer those enclosed, cleanable covered filters. They seal better and filter better than disposable N95s, but I sometimes wear one of those, too, when I need to be more understandable. Anything helps, but there are N95s and half face respirators still available if you look--and you can still cover with a fashion mask. My thought is one less positive is at least 2 less transmissions, so use the most effective you can tolerate.

@Community Member posted:

So, when you're ordering from OR, were you asked to specify a 'donation' you'd like to make?  How do I refuse, or steer it towards something I actually agree with?

I haven't found a way around this, but am Ok with it in general considering the discount.  The organizations have varied at times, so maybe the ones now are less appealing.  

https://www.outdoorresearch.co...mmunity-partnerships

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An interesting question that is being discussed amongst researchers is if the initial amount of viral inoculation a patient receives plays  a role in disease severity; i.e. the more virus you are first exposed to, the worse the disease. 

We have seen this before with flu studies (12) and more historically with smallpox  - the first smallpox vaccine was ground up dried scabs from smallpox patients which likely significantly reduced active virus. A very interesting recent hamster study demonstrated a significant reduction in COVID-19 transmission from infected hamsters to uninfected  hamsters if the airflow in cages were filtered using mask material  (the hamsters themselves were not masked).  More interesting  was that the if a hamster was infected despite a mask material present, it had less severe disease than hamsters who got infected without a mask material present.   

The implication from this is  that even imperfect mask/respiratory filtration can be effective protection, especially if they are able to block larger respiratory droplets which contain more virus. You still might get COVID-19 but the severity would be a lot less (with the side benefit of becoming immune, at least temporarily).  

I have heard of some conspiracy claims that masks increase your viral load but this does not make any sense from a viral replication standpoint, nor have I seen any data from a reputable source to support the claim. 

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