Double Up! Surging COVID-19 rates throughout the country and in many parts of the world are bringing a lot of things into perspective. Yes, the trying times are like a dark cloud above us, but we are not helpless. Experts estimate we can save hundreds of thousands of lives and considerably boost the chances of winning over this pandemic if we all commit to wearing a mask correctly, consistently and follow all preventive measures. Though new studies by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that cloth masks might not be as effective on their own, you don’t have to get rid of them, all you have to do is DOUBLE MASK! Double Masking Explained Recent studies by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that double masking can reduce your exposure to the COVID-19 virus by up to 95%. Wearing two masks strengthens the barrier between your respiratory system and the COVID-19 virus. To be most effective, the two face masks you wear should be different—the first mask you put on should be the most protective, such as a surgical mask. How to Layer Masks? 1. Wear a disposable or a surgical mask as the first layer. 2. Use a mask with multiple layers such a cloth mask on top of the surgical mask. Masking Do’s and Don’ts Do 1. Make sure your mask fits snugly and is not loose or oversized as space can cause leakage of respiratory droplets in and out of your masks. 2. When choosing a mask, opt for multiple layers as they keep the virus out and act as a stronger layered barrier. 3. Choose a mask with a nose wire that bends and takes the shape of your nose to fit snugly. Don’t 1. Do NOT layer two disposable\/surgical masks as they won’t fit tight and snug. 2. Do NOT combine K95 or N95 masks with anything else. Washing and Disposing Masks 1. Wash your cloth masks every day, especially if you’re wearing them for a long period of time. 2. Surgical masks should be discarded every day if they are used for long periods of time. Other Masking Techniques Knot and tuck ear loops of a 3-ply mask 1. Knot the ear loops of a 3-ply face mask so that they join at the edge of the mask. 2. Tuck and fold the extra material of the mask so it sits snug on your face. While staying home and breaking the chain is the simple solution to getting rid of this novel virus that has taken thousands of lives, if there’s a dire need to step out, it’s highly advisable to double mask, as the chances of you contracting the virus or spreading it can be contained. Now that you know, make sure you follow all the precautions and stay safe.