25 votes

Would you look down on a normal citizen wearing an N95 mask?

Recently found one in a perfect state. I sterilized it and now I can have one. Just wanting people's opinions if they saw someone with an n95 mask instead of a surgical mask. Like, it could go to a hospital or something.

edit: I should mention I have type 1 diabetes

27 comments

  1. Ranger
    Link
    No. I'm a CLS (with a B.S. in microbiology) that works in a hospital laboratory and I would not look down on you. I honestly think wearing whatever ppe makes you feel safe is fine - it's not...

    No. I'm a CLS (with a B.S. in microbiology) that works in a hospital laboratory and I would not look down on you. I honestly think wearing whatever ppe makes you feel safe is fine - it's not wasted because your health and safety is important. Plus, it's not like you're hoarding a stash of them so you're not doing any real harm.

    11 votes
  2. kfwyre
    Link
    If I saw someone wearing a mask, I'd assume they're doing it to protect either themselves or someone else. I would have no idea whether they were, say, a medical professional, immunocompromised,...

    If I saw someone wearing a mask, I'd assume they're doing it to protect either themselves or someone else. I would have no idea whether they were, say, a medical professional, immunocompromised, or in a high-exposure line of work (e.g. grocery store employees). My father is currently caring for my grandparents, who are in their 90s. He wears a mask and gloves when he goes to pick up their medications and when he goes to the grocery store to get their food. I would be all the more worried if he didn't do this.

    10 votes
  3. reese
    Link
    I went out in public for the first time since March 13th to grab some things. I saw a few people who had what appeared to be N95 masks on, and, uh, I didn't look down on them. I don't know them....

    I went out in public for the first time since March 13th to grab some things. I saw a few people who had what appeared to be N95 masks on, and, uh, I didn't look down on them. I don't know them. They could have donated shitloads of N95 masks to a local hospital, and kept some around. Maybe they're immunocompromised, or they live with somebody who is. Maybe they bought their N95 masks a decade ago, being respectably prepared for catastrophic events unlike the rest of us, and therefore it cannot be argued that they contributed to the current shortage.

    People assume the worst of me and my intentions all the time, so I know how it feels, which is why I don't do the same to others without reasonable cause. I mind my own business. I try to leave people alone and respect their space, because I want the same equitable treatment.

    9 votes
  4. Shahriar
    Link
    No, and you shouldn't care for what others think. Care for your own health. One in three people I see at the grocery store in Vancouver uses a mask of some kind. It's effective and we're...

    No, and you shouldn't care for what others think. Care for your own health. One in three people I see at the grocery store in Vancouver uses a mask of some kind. It's effective and we're flattening the curve better than the rest of Canada.

    7 votes
  5. [3]
    joplin
    Link
    I would thank you (from more than 6 feet away). We're partly in this mess because people have been told not to wear them when wearing them is clearly more effective than not. As someone living...

    I would thank you (from more than 6 feet away). We're partly in this mess because people have been told not to wear them when wearing them is clearly more effective than not. As someone living with an immune-compromised family member, I don't want your germs getting on me and potentially onto my loved-ones. Please, everyone mask up if you can! I wear both gloves and masks if I have to go to a store (which I avoid as much as possible). I've been out to a store once in 3 weeks, and to the doctors and a blood lab each once during that same time. I wore gloves and masks for all 3 visits.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      For what it's worth, the CDC is considering recommending that people wear masks in public now. So you may be seeing more of this in the future!

      For what it's worth, the CDC is considering recommending that people wear masks in public now. So you may be seeing more of this in the future!

      6 votes
  6. DanBC
    Link
    When I see someone wearing a mask in the UK I see a person who has decided to ignore the Public Health England advice. Most of the people I've seen wear a mask have done something wrong. They keep...

    When I see someone wearing a mask in the UK I see a person who has decided to ignore the Public Health England advice.

    Most of the people I've seen wear a mask have done something wrong. They keep touching the mask to readjust it, one woman took it off to cough, they're often not doing essential activity, and a single one of them had it fitted correctly.

    For these reasons I don't trust people wearing face masks.

    6 votes
  7. [6]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    I would think it wasted on someone who isn't medical staff. Better for your purpose to use a washable and reusable cloth mask when you need to be in public. They aren't as good, but they're fine...

    I would think it wasted on someone who isn't medical staff. Better for your purpose to use a washable and reusable cloth mask when you need to be in public. They aren't as good, but they're fine for the incidental risks you'll encounter and can be washed and reused unlike the n95.

    4 votes
    1. [5]
      stu2b50
      Link Parent
      You can (probably) reuse n95s in this context. Just bake it in the oven at 70F for an hour. https://m.box.com/shared_item/https%3A%2F%2Fstanfordmedicine.box.com%2Fv%2Fcovid19-PPE-1-1

      You can (probably) reuse n95s in this context. Just bake it in the oven at 70F for an hour.

      https://m.box.com/shared_item/https%3A%2F%2Fstanfordmedicine.box.com%2Fv%2Fcovid19-PPE-1-1

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Shahriar
        Link Parent
        Just a correction, it's 70 Celsius or 158 Fahrenheit.

        Just bake it in the oven at 70F for an hour.

        Just a correction, it's 70 Celsius or 158 Fahrenheit.

        11 votes
        1. Gaywallet
          Link Parent
          basically more or less what an autoclave does

          basically more or less what an autoclave does

          2 votes
      2. [2]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        70F is the temperature I keep my house at. Also that paper is pretty explicit about not doing this in your oven at home.

        70F is the temperature I keep my house at.

        Also that paper is pretty explicit about not doing this in your oven at home.

        4 votes
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          It's pretty explicit about not doing it at all, because using fresh masks will always be better (and they only tested on e.coli, but covid19 has been shown to be sanitized with heat). But I'd...

          It's pretty explicit about not doing it at all, because using fresh masks will always be better (and they only tested on e.coli, but covid19 has been shown to be sanitized with heat).

          But I'd still take a home baked n95 mask over a bandanna until it gets so deformed so as to break the seal.

          2 votes
  8. patience_limited
    (edited )
    Link
    My brother is currently driving for a warehouse-to-door delivery company, which decided early on to issue N95 masks to their drivers (and pay sick time to its "independent contractors"!). I...

    My brother is currently driving for a warehouse-to-door delivery company, which decided early on to issue N95 masks to their drivers (and pay sick time to its "independent contractors"!). I suspect it's as much to avoid liability as to protect the general public and staff.

    Nonetheless, my brother is over 50, recovering from a couple of medical issues, and delivering face-to-face for seniors and others with potential vulnerabilities in the Detroit-area hot zone. He may make 30 stops in a day, and would be a real threat if he unwittingly became a carrier. So I should definitely know better than to judge people without the full background.

    Even so, knowing that hospitals are desperately short of supply, I might still reflexively give people wearing N95 in public a bit of side-eye. The 2-meter social distance and hand-washing guidelines are sufficiently protective for the few activities they should be engaging in right now.

    Most people aren't trained to wear PPE properly, and they're just giving themselves a false sense of security (like my brother, who's wearing a standard-style N95 mask over a beard). Under the circumstances, a cloth mask may actually provide better protection for public activities, and won't deprive someone who needs the higher filtration because they're literally up to their elbows in a coronavirus patient.

    Also, there's a raft of badly produced or fake N95 masks being sold right now. Again, not something people know how to watch out for, and a source of false confidence. Wear a mask, by all means, but don't go looking for N95 if you don't already have them available from personal pre-COVID-19 stock.

    [Disclosure: I've worn a cloth mask to contain allergic sneezes and coughs, but as a general rule, if you're ill, you shouldn't be out in public right now.]

    4 votes
  9. krg
    Link
    Anyone who would get upset over a mask someone else is wearing ought to be home, at least six feet away from their door. They're ramping up mask production in China now that they've gotten over...

    Anyone who would get upset over a mask someone else is wearing ought to be home, at least six feet away from their door.

    They're ramping up mask production in China now that they've gotten over their major hump, so expect to see those flooding the market soon.

    3 votes
  10. Grawlix
    Link
    I think blaming one person for wearing an N95 mask outside of a medical context would be blaming an individual for a completely separate systemic issue. The real problem isn't that individuals...

    I think blaming one person for wearing an N95 mask outside of a medical context would be blaming an individual for a completely separate systemic issue. The real problem isn't that individuals want N95 masks to protect themselves and others, but that we didn't have an adequate supply in case of an epidemic, and have been somewhat slow to respond to it. Ideally, we'd have enough masks to cover all medical workers, and to provide for people who need to work at or use essential services. I would WANT everyone to have an N95 mask.

    To step back a bit, you're pondering over a single mask that you would be able to use, and not a whole stack of them that you couldn't. The fact that you're concerned enough about one mask is a sign you're not being selfish about this. :)

    3 votes
  11. mrbig
    Link
    I might think your mask looks super cool and kinda cyberpunk, but that’s about it.

    I might think your mask looks super cool and kinda cyberpunk, but that’s about it.

    3 votes
  12. vord
    Link
    I would. They're one-time, short term use only. It requires a solid fit to work at all, and most laypeople will do it wrong. Save the P95s for the professionals who will benefit most and use it...

    I would.

    They're one-time, short term use only. It requires a solid fit to work at all, and most laypeople will do it wrong. Save the P95s for the professionals who will benefit most and use it correctly.

    Everyone else should wear improv masks and shields until sufficient supplies are available.

    EDIT: Check out the inverted pyramid on this page. PPE is the method of last resort, and the least effective.

    3 votes
  13. knocklessmonster
    Link
    Knowing the story, I wouldn't. Some would, hell, I might judge you, but I'll also admit that's my problem, not yours. If somebody gives you crap, just tell them what's up.

    Knowing the story, I wouldn't. Some would, hell, I might judge you, but I'll also admit that's my problem, not yours. If somebody gives you crap, just tell them what's up.

    2 votes
  14. [2]
    ubergeek
    Link
    I don't think anyone really gets mad at people wearing masks... People are getting mad at people and orgs sitting on 3000 of them, that they bought leading up to this, which caused a shortage.

    I don't think anyone really gets mad at people wearing masks... People are getting mad at people and orgs sitting on 3000 of them, that they bought leading up to this, which caused a shortage.

    2 votes
    1. aphoenix
      Link Parent
      Someone called me an idiot for wearing a mask last week. Judgment certainly is happening, and some people are expressing that they would be judging people in this thread, and they're reasonable...

      Someone called me an idiot for wearing a mask last week. Judgment certainly is happening, and some people are expressing that they would be judging people in this thread, and they're reasonable people that I respect.

      I was in the midst of delivering something to my father who is over 70 and is being very careful about not exposing himself to anything that could make him sick, since he intends to live to be 110.

      3 votes
  15. wexx
    Link
    Was originally going to complain about someone I saw wearing a brightly colored plague mask and laughing while going around a store, but I guess either way I don't think I would judge anyone. Some...

    Was originally going to complain about someone I saw wearing a brightly colored plague mask and laughing while going around a store, but I guess either way I don't think I would judge anyone. Some shit just hits you different, I guess.

    To clarify: nah, just don't be an ass about it.

    1 vote
  16. Dr_Guinea_Pig
    Link
    I haven't seen many people with masks, but I've seen a few people who clearly have health issues wearing them so I think there are situation where they come in use. I still think for most people...

    I haven't seen many people with masks, but I've seen a few people who clearly have health issues wearing them so I think there are situation where they come in use. I still think for most people in most situations it's overkill; but I do live in an area with relatively low amounts of infected.

    1 vote
  17. [3]
    Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I honestly don't even understand why this is a question. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask.

    I honestly don't even understand why this is a question. If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      bleem
      Link Parent
      I was seeing some posts about how people are supposedly stealing/selling masks. Plus this whole thing with trump now saying that it's happening.

      I was seeing some posts about how people are supposedly stealing/selling masks. Plus this whole thing with trump now saying that it's happening.

      2 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        There are articles about people being arrested for stealing toilet paper. That doesn't mean I'll assume that everyone who can wipe their arse clean is a criminal.

        There are articles about people being arrested for stealing toilet paper. That doesn't mean I'll assume that everyone who can wipe their arse clean is a criminal.

        5 votes