CDC Recommends Double Masking After Concluding New Study

Wearing double masks, Mark Holton, a Lock Haven student home on break, walks his puppy Bella during a winter storm in Monroe Township, Wyoming County, Pa., Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (Mark Moran /The Citizens’ Voice via AP)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded a new study and is now recommending that people “double mask” to further slow the spread of COVID-19.

Double masking is one of the best ways to mitigate exposure to the virus, the study found. The first experiment the agency conducted was to fit a cloth mask over a surgical mask, and the second was to knot the ear loops of a surgical mask and tuck in the extra material on the sides. The results found that these options can increase protection from infectious aerosol exposure by 90 to 95 percent.

Simply put: the better the fit, the better the protection.

This is an intuitive, unsurprising result. But the CDC conducted the study in a lab setting with dummies, meaning that their results may not necessarily reflect the actual effectiveness of the masks when worn in the real world by real people.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky also said the agency has long recommended that masks ought to have “two or more layers, completely cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly against your nose and the size of your face,” or in other words, that this new study does not change their general mask guidelines.

Do whatever floats your boat, I guess, but you will not catch me double masking. If double masking is slightly more protective than an N95, wouldn’t triple masking be slightly more protective than double masking? What about quadruple masking?

We’re really in trouble if certain establishments start enforcing double mask mandates. And I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out given the clown world we occupy.