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Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2020 05:29PM
OK, so today was my first real day out of self-isolation (I'm in a medium-high risk category), where there was something in my workplace to which I personally HAD to attend, and doing this involved my being indoors for an extended period (greater than 30 minutes). My institution has just been allowing us back in, under a strict schedule, and also only under the proviso that we use PPE and do all the hygiene things.

The problem? I couldn't breathe with the N95 ... it literally became a sweat-fest, the inside of my mask becoming a sweaty hell-hole, the whole front of my face sweating (this became more of a problem because I wear glasses), etc. A couple of times, I had to take the N95 off briefly to drink some water, otherwise I felt like I was going to pass out. Also, it seemed like I had to always breathe through my mouth, because the nose bridge on the N95 kept wanting to slip downward and preventing breathing through my nose.

Some of what I had to do at my workplace did involve some physical exertion, so this may have factored into it, plus the fact that it is really hot/humid outside right now in my area. I'm really now kind of dreading having to go back there, because I probably will have to go back in to take care of some other stuff... and if I have to wear the N95 (which I think is prudent under my particular circumstances), it's going to be a nightmare. Anyone know any solutions? (Should I just risk a surgical mask? While I was at my workplace today, I scored three more N95's but with broken rubber straps, and two full boxes of surgical masks.) Oh, and if it matters -- the N95 I was using today is a real N95 (not a KN95), I want to say it's a Makrite brand, originally purchased at Walgreens.

Also, as a side note ... the experience really made me acutely aware (even more than usual, which for me is quite often) of how much stuff I was touching with bare hands and that it was next-to-impossible for me not to be touching things. I could have been wearing gloves, but for that to have been effective, I would have had to be changing gloves like crazy... instead, I washed my hands as much as possible (in my job, I'm a bit of a compulsive hand-washer anyway), but it's NOT helpful when the soap dispensers are empty, the paper towel dispensers are all not working (because they run on batteries, which are now dead), etc.

Edit: I posted on this side because it's a somewhat mundane issue, but if it gets political, of course it could go to the other side.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 05:34PM by PeterB.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Ammo
Date: May 28, 2020 05:49PM
“. . . the experience really made me acutely aware (even more than usual, which for me is quite often) of how much stuff I was touching with bare hands and that it was next-to-impossible for me not to be touching things.”

This.

It’s endless if you want to take contaminants seriously. Upon leaving a (possibly contaminated area), I walk out to my car, pull out my keys (yikes! now my keys are dirty), open my car door (handle now dirty), get in and pull the door latch shut (now dirty) and apply hand sanitizer. Start the car (wait a minute, my keys were dirty) and I gripped the steering wheel as I started the car (oh - and be sure to wipe down the door handles when you get home) . . . you get the idea.



Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. —Wendy Mass

Until you make your unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. - Carl Jung



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 05:52PM by Ammo.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2020 05:52PM
Ammo, I did my best to change clothes, wash hands, etc., when I got home, but there's only so much you can wash ... and also there was a lot of stuff I brought home from work on this trip ... which could (in theory) be contaminated, though I doubt it because the stuff has all been sitting there at work undisturbed, for the last two months or so. Maybe I'm just being overly cautious, but being in a higher risk category, it makes me maybe go a little farther than the average person, who might be saying to themselves "oh, I'm not going to worry, whatever I touch, I touch."




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Pam
Date: May 28, 2020 06:01PM
The first time wearing the N95 was the worse. After that it has gotten better. So some of your physical reaction may be psychological. Check the fit. The nose piece should not be sliding down. It may be the upper strap is not high enough on your head.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 28, 2020 06:07PM
I wore an N95 one day and didn't have any problem breathing, and I already have a breathing problem. I found myself breathing deeply sometimes, in a good way, but that probably defeats the purpose.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2020 06:12PM
Quote
Pam
The first time wearing the N95 was the worse. After that it has gotten better. So some of your physical reaction may be psychological. Check the fit. The nose piece should not be sliding down. It may be the upper strap is not high enough on your head.

Some might be psychological, and the problem I was having also was that I wear eyeglass cords, which were getting entangled with the straps. I find it difficult to wear anything on my head (just in general, like a hat, etc.) ... it seems I run a very high metabolism, am always hot, find I put out a lot of heat through my head, etc. The N95 seemed very tight on my face, so it was definitely making a tight seal. I think the reason it was slipping down is because it might have been TOO tight, and the sweat wasn't helping anything. My glasses were at first fogging up, and then literally dripping from sweat (which also made it hard to see, of course).

I know they also make vented N95's, I'm tempted to see if I can get ahold of some of those.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 28, 2020 06:25PM
When I was doing repairs and fabrication of heavy railway repair equipment we had to wear either a P100 or a full cartridge type respirator when using a torch or welding. You get used to them. The worst part was working in a building that got to 105 degrees in the Summer. I eventually bid off that position and into the machine shop and when they built a new machine shop it was climate controlled to 70 degrees year round due to the tolerances we were holding and all the CNC equipment we had.

If you really have a need for a great mask, this is it if you're clean shaven. The rubber seal and adjustable straps make it tops but if you're spraying lacquer for woodworking or around certain chemicals you still need a full respirator.

[www.3m.com]



Grateful11
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 28, 2020 06:42PM
Quote
PeterB
Quote
Pam
The first time wearing the N95 was the worse. After that it has gotten better. So some of your physical reaction may be psychological. Check the fit. The nose piece should not be sliding down. It may be the upper strap is not high enough on your head.

Some might be psychological, and the problem I was having also was that I wear eyeglass cords, which were getting entangled with the straps. I find it difficult to wear anything on my head (just in general, like a hat, etc.) ... it seems I run a very high metabolism, am always hot, find I put out a lot of heat through my head, etc. The N95 seemed very tight on my face, so it was definitely making a tight seal. I think the reason it was slipping down is because it might have been TOO tight, and the sweat wasn't helping anything. My glasses were at first fogging up, and then literally dripping from sweat (which also made it hard to see, of course).

I know they also make vented N95's, I'm tempted to see if I can get ahold of some of those.

I just looked back and I bought a box 10 3M N95 masks with the vent through Amazon for $13.54 last July because of all the respiratory issues I was having when going outside. Now you can't hardly find them at any price now. I've checked Grainger's, MSC, McMaster-Carr and ISS and nothing.



Grateful11
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Pam
Date: May 28, 2020 06:44PM
Quote
PeterB
Quote
Pam
The first time wearing the N95 was the worse. After that it has gotten better. So some of your physical reaction may be psychological. Check the fit. The nose piece should not be sliding down. It may be the upper strap is not high enough on your head.

Some might be psychological, and the problem I was having also was that I wear eyeglass cords, which were getting entangled with the straps. I find it difficult to wear anything on my head (just in general, like a hat, etc.) ... it seems I run a very high metabolism, am always hot, find I put out a lot of heat through my head, etc. The N95 seemed very tight on my face, so it was definitely making a tight seal. I think the reason it was slipping down is because it might have been TOO tight, and the sweat wasn't helping anything. My glasses were at first fogging up, and then literally dripping from sweat (which also made it hard to see, of course).

I know they also make vented N95's, I'm tempted to see if I can get ahold of some of those.

Yep, I wear the eyeglass cords and feel your tangled pain lol. Play around with the mask, see if you can find a better placement for the straps. Hopefully you will adjust to the mask and be more comfortable.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Gareth
Date: May 28, 2020 06:46PM
Quote
PeterB
I know they also make vented N95's, I'm tempted to see if I can get ahold of some of those.

The problem with a vented mask, is that it only protects you. If you are asymptomatic, your exhale is no longer restricted and you are exhaling infected droplets. Thus, if you wear a vented mask around other people, you should wear a surgical type mask over it (my opinion).

Also, even with a vented mask, you can find yourself out of breath after a while, depending on what you're doing. With an N95 half-mask, vented respirator, after a while of weeding, I have to sit down and remove the mask to catch my breath. (Although it could be that my pre-filters are old and clogged, but unfortunately it's hard to get replacements right now, so I can't test that).

I've been on many zoom seminars in regards to getting my industry (film) up and running, some of which have included medical personnel. In one, a doctor pointed out the above problem with vented masks, and that we (in the general population) shouldn't use them for that reason, since the point of a mask is not really to protect oneself, but to protect others around you from oneself. However, the doctor himself would be willing to wear a vented mask because he is already working around patients that are infected.

Also, CDC has noted that the risk for touch infection is very low, so the need for gloves is unnecessary and can lead to a false sense of security. It's much better to not touch your eyes/nose/mouth and wash your hands often (preferably with soap and water, but bring hand sanitizer for when that's not possible). There was a study on a call center where the call center took up a floor of a building. Something like 95% of the cases came from the tightly packed call center area, while a few came from another part of that floor and even less from other parts of the building, despite all the people in the building using the same "touch" surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, restrooms, etc).

Stay safe!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 07:26PM by Gareth.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 28, 2020 07:05PM
Quote
PeterB
Also, as a side note ... the experience really made me acutely aware (even more than usual, which for me is quite often) of how much stuff I was touching with bare hands and that it was next-to-impossible for me not to be touching things. I could have been wearing gloves, but for that to have been effective, I would have had to be changing gloves like crazy... instead, I washed my hands as much as possible (in my job, I'm a bit of a compulsive hand-washer anyway), but it's NOT helpful when the soap dispensers are empty, the paper towel dispensers are all not working (because they run on batteries, which are now dead), etc.

You're not going to get the virus through your hands. You would have to have it on your hands and then touch a mucous membrane (it's easier to just say don't touch your face). When you're wearing a mask, you have a built-in reminder to not touch your face.

Also, the virus is encapsolated in a lipid membrane and soap disolves that membrane. That's why washing your hands with soap and water is so effective at killing the virus. If there's no soap around then you would want to bring some hand sanitizer.



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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 28, 2020 07:05PM
Using a respirator takes training and practice. N95’s have an exhalation valve which helps push stale air out. As a lifelong asthmatic I’ve learned to be calm with breathing difficulties, and take my time. It’s hard.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2020 07:30PM
Gareth and AllGold, I already know all that.

I am neither infected nor asymptomatic; if I had been infected, I'd likely be dead by now. sad smiley ... so in my case, wearing a vented mask is perfectly OK. It's to protect me, not others. As for the hand-washing versus wearing gloves issue, I would literally have had to be washing my hands after touching every single thing in my workplace, which simply wasn't feasible. So either gloves or just not worrying about everything I was touching, then washing hands at the end.

And yes, I know full well the problem with using gloves; I go through a ton of them under ordinary circumstances at work for other, unrelated reasons. I'm trained to be acutely aware of what I touch, either wearing gloves or not. It's part of being a scientist. grinning smiley Both the mask and gloves were reminding me of what I was touching at all times, and not to be touching my face. (The latter was really impossible, because of the sweating issue I started this whole post about.)

Oh and I've now discovered that maybe I'm allergic to some component of the mask? Have a really terrible taste/smell/sensation in my nose/back of my throat now, from having worn this thing for hours... maybe that's typical for N95's too, I don't know.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 07:32PM by PeterB.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 28, 2020 07:32PM
Took a few days before I got used to wearing a mask.

Masks get hot and damp.

But it you moderate your breathing - keep it slow - they can be tolerable.

I wear gloves when I'm at a job-site. They may not offer much in the way of additional protection, but they work as a constant reminder not to touch my face... I clean the gloves with hand-sanitizer and wash with soap and water same as I would with my hands.

I wash my masks between uses. Seems that disposable masks are good for several runs through the washer and dryer without falling apart.



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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 28, 2020 07:44PM
Quote
PeterB
...or just not worrying about everything I was touching, then washing hands at the end.

Although unwritten (sorry), that was kind of my point. wink smiley







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 07:45PM by AllGold.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2020 07:51PM
Quote
AllGold
Quote
PeterB
...or just not worrying about everything I was touching, then washing hands at the end.

Although unwritten (sorry), that was kind of my point. wink smiley

Well, yeah -- that was part of the instructions from my employer, that we were to wash hands with soap and water before entering, and right before leaving. Like I said, I did the best I could, but sweat and discomfort was getting the best of me.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 28, 2020 08:07PM
While I was at my workplace today, I scored three more N95's but with broken rubber straps

Why was the rubber band broken?
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: May 28, 2020 08:13PM
Quote
space-time
While I was at my workplace today, I scored three more N95's but with broken rubber straps

Why was the rubber band broken?

My wife bought 20 feet of elastic off eBay for a decent price. Her plan was to make us some masks but she didn't think about the fact that her grandmothers sewing machine was in storage at another home.

Just replace the straps.



Grateful11
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: lost in space
Date: May 28, 2020 08:14PM
We just happened to have had an open box of N95 masks in the garage when the lockdown hit. These don't have the exhale valve. At first, we had the same issues, feeling like we couldn't breathe. As we discovered, with the bands that go around the back of the head, as opposed to the ear-hook ones, the upper band goes up high on the back of the head, nearly on top of the head, which helps a lot in keeping excess pressure off the bridge of the nose. For breathing, it's really helpful to take deep, slow breaths, and exhaling deeply. If you don't, you're re-breathing much more expelled carbon dioxide, moving more of the same air from inside the mask in and out repeatedly. Hope this helps.



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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 28, 2020 08:39PM
Quote
Grateful11
Quote
space-time
While I was at my workplace today, I scored three more N95's but with broken rubber straps

Why was the rubber band broken?

My wife bought 20 feet of elastic off eBay for a decent price. Her plan was to make us some masks but she didn't think about the fact that her grandmothers sewing machine was in storage at another home.

Just replace the straps.

You should be able to sew the elastic on with a needle and thread.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 28, 2020 09:28PM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
Grateful11
Quote
space-time
While I was at my workplace today, I scored three more N95's but with broken rubber straps

Why was the rubber band broken?

My wife bought 20 feet of elastic off eBay for a decent price. Her plan was to make us some masks but she didn't think about the fact that her grandmothers sewing machine was in storage at another home.

Just replace the straps.

You should be able to sew the elastic on with a needle and thread.

The ones I found with broken elastics ... elastics don't last forever, especially in a hot / humid environment like what we have down here. What's peculiar is that the elastics are held in place with what essentially look like staples... which make noticeable pinpoint holes in the masks. Don't look at me, I didn't design these!

And lost in space's advice may have been part of the problem. I felt like I was suffocating, so I was probably also hyperventilating, which may have been making the problem worse. It was just too difficult to breathe with this on. I'm pretty sure the upper strap WAS toward the top of my head.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2020 09:29PM by PeterB.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 28, 2020 11:26PM
Quote
space-time
While I was at my workplace today, I scored three more N95's but with broken rubber straps

Why was the rubber band broken?

Interestingly when you have read stories about N95 masks being "expired" its not the mask part, its the rubber band part.

WHen the wife worked in bio terrorism a few years ago, they found 20000 masks in storage, all expired because of the band. Tossed them all.

I think the issues you are having with 95s is *exactly* what they said when this all sorta started -- they arent for designed for daily personal use -- and peeps that struggle with breathing its more of a detriment than helpful.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 28, 2020 11:35PM
I just lost an N95 (my only one of the three I have w/o the breather valve) and it felt like losing my wallet.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 29, 2020 03:20AM
The problem with a vented mask, is that it only protects you. If you are asymptomatic, your exhale is no longer restricted and you are exhaling infected droplets. Thus, if you wear a vented mask around other people, you should wear a surgical type mask over it (my opinion).

This.



I am neither infected nor asymptomatic; if I had been infected, I'd likely be dead by now. sad smiley ... so in my case, wearing a vented mask is perfectly OK. It's to protect me, not others.


Almost anybody with an IQ above room temperature would recognize that you are about protecting you and not others with that vented mask.

And nobody knows that you are not infected anymore than you know who is or isn't infected.

That's a lot like drivers who say 'Yeah, I was going a little fast, but I can handle speed' or 'I always do stop for STOP signs, except this once'.

Although most commonly one would hear 'I don't think I was going that fast'. LOL

Maybe they can, maybe they do, but if one doesn't know if they're telling the truth, they get the tag. Heck, maybe they'd get it anyway.

I saw a guy walking around in Safeway with a vented mask, and I talked to the store manager about it. He was a little reluctant to act but a little prodding got him going. The the guy was escorted out.

Was that necessary? Maybe not, maybe probably not. I don't know.

Some claim this is all theater.

If so, a non-vented mask should be the price of admission.

My N95s are non-vented. Founding out there are vented versions, I thought maybe these should go back in exchange for vented. I'm glad I kept these.

There's also a breathing exercise (one of several, I'm sure) to help suppress the anxiety one might feel when a little out of breath:

inhale for 4s
hold for 4s
exhale for 4s
hold for 4s
repeat until unnecessary

It's not a matter of gulping all the air you can in 4s but establishing a rhythm.

Obviously the degree of current physical activity would dictate whether or not this helps.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Forrest
Date: May 29, 2020 03:26AM
Information on how cutout a rubber band to make a surgical mask more effective or use an N95 mask with broken elastic at https://www.fixthemask.com/

If the N95 is not tightly fitted to your face, then it’s not effective - see above link for more info.

If I had to attend a long meeting, I would recommend a 10 minute break each hour and change to a new mask until you felt comfortable.

I hope everyone is distanced at least 6 feet at the meeting. I hope the room has adequate ventilation and would recommend a HEPA aire purifier to clean the air.

I think gloves are useless if you can train yourself to never touch the outside of your mask, face or eyes. Googles may be more helpful in protecting the virus from entering your eyes.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: d4
Date: May 29, 2020 07:20AM
Does your workplace have 24hour access?
If I was overweight, old or diabetic (high risk) I would shift my office hours and go at 8pm. Attend to what I need to attend to with minimal contact with people and be on my way. It might be a pain to change my schedule, and I might miss the new episode of Friday Night Smackdown, but it's better than dead.

Did you interact with many people in the building?
If no. A disposable surgical mask is fine if EVERYONE is wearing a mask.
If yes. Keep that N95 mask plastered on your sweaty face and suck it up. Better that than dead.

Re: Gloves
I would wear gloves if I was you. If you're sweating, probably a lot of other people in that building are sweating too. Sweaty palms and fingers touching doorknobs, buttons, keyboards, chairs, etc. No thanks. With everyone sweating you can't even tell who is symptomatic and who is just hot.

Next time, you should bring my own soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc for your own use in a bag to use. You bring your own mask. Bring your own cleaning supplies. This was an oversight on your part.



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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 29, 2020 07:55AM
OK, a bit of a followup. Either I'm allergic to something in/with the mask, or something I came into contact with in my workplace, or both (or maybe it was just the sweating), because I woke up this morning with seriously itchy, irritated eyes... typically what I get when I'm having very bad allergies.

I know I'm neither infected nor asymptomatic because I've been self-isolating for the last two months or so.

There was no meeting when I went into my workplace. This was me going into my building by myself, to access my office and lab spaces. I only came into contact with a very few people while I was there, and greater than 6' distance was kept.

Edit, to address d4's points:

1) Workplace is only allowing access between 9AM and 4PM and only allowing shifts to minimize contact/allow social distancing. I'm not old or diabetic (but admittedly am overweight), and did exactly what you mentioned.

2) No, as mentioned, greater than 6 foot distance and minimal, if any, interaction with a few individuals; my wearing the N95 was me being extra cautious.

3) That's why I did wear gloves, at least in the beginning. As I was working, it would have been impossible to wear the gloves because of the number of items I was touching, as well as sweating.

4) I already did all that, thank you, and I'll ask you not to assume ... you know what happens when you ass-u-me. grinning smiley The only thing I didn't bring was the soap and paper towels, because my workplace should have had them; and as I said, it would have been impossible to wash my hands or use hand sanitizer for the number of things I was touching ... I would have had to do it every five minutes or so.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 08:39AM by PeterB.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: d4
Date: May 29, 2020 09:11AM
Quote
PeterB
That's why I did wear gloves, at least in the beginning. As I was working, it would have been impossible to wear the gloves because of the number of items I was touching, as well as sweating.

What are you doing at work that was impossible to do with gloves on? Properly fitting latex/nitrile gloves are pretty form fitting. Granted, the latest information is that Covid does not easily spread from contact with surfaces. I agree with you about the gloves as an abundance of caution because of the sweaty (body fluid) environment. If it's your sweat in the glove that makes you take them off, that's more reason for you to keep the glove on. Keep your body fluids to yourself!

I use gloves at the supermarket because there are A LOT of people going through there with a line to get in. The usual process of shopping involves picking something up, looking at it, putting it back on the shelf, picking something else up, reading label, squeezing avocado, browsing, etc. Or busy gas station pumps. Where someone just touched it before me literally a minute ago.

Let's say you were handling dogsht all day at the office. You wear gloves. Oh, your hands are getting sweaty. It's uncomfortable. Do you take the gloves off and handle the dogsht with your bare hands because it's more comfortable? I would think a normal person would deal with it and leave the gloves on until done even if it's uncomfortable. LOL



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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: norse
Date: May 29, 2020 10:31AM
The N95 masks are to protect you from others. The surgical masks are to protect others from you.

If there is no one around you in a room, just close the door and NOT wear a mask. If there are people around you, keep the social distance and wear your N95 mask. Hard to breathe with a N95 mask means you probably have it on correctly (see above post about fitting).

No real need to wear gloves unless you have open sores/break in skin or the things you are touching are gross. JUST DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE (EYES, NOSE, AND MOUTH). Wash your hands with soap and water. The virus stays on gloves longer than skin.

No need to wear a mask in your car or walking outside with hardly anyone around. Put the mask on before entering the building until you're in your "safe" room. I would wash your hands before entering your "safe" room. No soap? Use hand sanitizer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 10:33AM by norse.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 29, 2020 11:46AM
Quote
norse
The N95 masks are to protect you from others. The surgical masks are to protect others from you.

If there is no one around you in a room, just close the door and NOT wear a mask. If there are people around you, keep the social distance and wear your N95 mask. Hard to breathe with a N95 mask means you probably have it on correctly (see above post about fitting).

No real need to wear gloves unless you have open sores/break in skin or the things you are touching are gross. JUST DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE (EYES, NOSE, AND MOUTH). Wash your hands with soap and water. The virus stays on gloves longer than skin.

No need to wear a mask in your car or walking outside with hardly anyone around. Put the mask on before entering the building until you're in your "safe" room. I would wash your hands before entering your "safe" room. No soap? Use hand sanitizer.

I basically did all of this. And yes, I'm wearing the N95 to protect myself, since I'm medium-high risk. There were people around me, but not very many and pretty distant, and I did notice that some of them were NOT wearing any sort of mask. That's part of why I chose to wear the N95. No close contact with anyone, but we do have a closed environment with an air conditioning system... there have been studies to show the virus in air conditioning filter systems.

Gloves ... I'm aware of their limitations, but the question is, if you are handling a large variety of objects, is it better to wear gloves or not? If I had worn the gloves, I would have had to change them extremely frequently, like every 2-3 minutes or so. In the end, it was easier for me just to wash my hands, but even that I could not do frequently enough -- again, I would have had to do it every 2-3 minutes or so. And it was difficult to wear gloves because 1) my hands got sweaty; 2) makes it hard to grip some objects without slipping.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: norse
Date: May 29, 2020 12:15PM
[/quote]
I basically did all of this. And yes, I'm wearing the N95 to protect myself, since I'm medium-high risk. There were people around me, but not very many and pretty distant, and I did notice that some of them were NOT wearing any sort of mask. That's part of why I chose to wear the N95. No close contact with anyone, but we do have a closed environment with an air conditioning system... there have been studies to show the virus in air conditioning filter systems.

Gloves ... I'm aware of their limitations, but the question is, if you are handling a large variety of objects, is it better to wear gloves or not? If I had worn the gloves, I would have had to change them extremely frequently, like every 2-3 minutes or so. In the end, it was easier for me just to wash my hands, but even that I could not do frequently enough -- again, I would have had to do it every 2-3 minutes or so. And it was difficult to wear gloves because 1) my hands got sweaty; 2) makes it hard to grip some objects without slipping.[/quote]

I haven't given air conditioning much thought but it makes sense unless the air from them has been sanitized (UV light?)

Just leave the gloves off and use your bare hands. Just don't touch your face with the palm side of your hands. If the back of your hands comes in contact with anything don't touch your face with the back of your hands either.

No need to wash your hands as often. The farther the other people are away from you the better.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Pam
Date: May 29, 2020 12:52PM
My N95 mask had a terrible chemical smell at first. I am admittedly hyper sensitive. It was better after 24 hours and continued to improve as it aired out. It may be yours triggered an allergy. Hopefully it will subside for you as well.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 29, 2020 01:55PM
Quote
norse
Quote
PeterB
I basically did all of this. And yes, I'm wearing the N95 to protect myself, since I'm medium-high risk. There were people around me, but not very many and pretty distant, and I did notice that some of them were NOT wearing any sort of mask. That's part of why I chose to wear the N95. No close contact with anyone, but we do have a closed environment with an air conditioning system... there have been studies to show the virus in air conditioning filter systems.

Gloves ... I'm aware of their limitations, but the question is, if you are handling a large variety of objects, is it better to wear gloves or not? If I had worn the gloves, I would have had to change them extremely frequently, like every 2-3 minutes or so. In the end, it was easier for me just to wash my hands, but even that I could not do frequently enough -- again, I would have had to do it every 2-3 minutes or so. And it was difficult to wear gloves because 1) my hands got sweaty; 2) makes it hard to grip some objects without slipping.

I haven't given air conditioning much thought but it makes sense unless the air from them has been sanitized (UV light?)

Just leave the gloves off and use your bare hands. Just don't touch your face with the palm side of your hands. If the back of your hands comes in contact with anything don't touch your face with the back of your hands either.

No need to wash your hands as often. The farther the other people are away from you the better.

Yup, I'm 99.99% sure that the air conditioning there does NOT have any sort of UV sanitization...

And that's pretty much what I ended up doing -- handling things with bare hands, unfortunately not worrying too much about all the stuff I was touching (trying to avoid touching my face as best I could), and trying to hand-wash as reasonably often as I could.

Pam might be right, I might just be very sensitive to whatever is in the mask. I'm still recovering from yesterday ... bad sinus headache and seriously itching eyes.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 01:56PM by PeterB.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: norse
Date: May 29, 2020 02:01PM
Is this your workplace? What are you going to do when you go back to work there? Very hard to wear a N95 mask all day.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 29, 2020 02:46PM
Quote
norse
Is this your workplace? What are you going to do when you go back to work there? Very hard to wear a N95 mask all day.

Excellent question. Currently, we are being told that we will all be back for some in-person classes, but with social distancing and hygiene measures in place. In my case, yes, I am almost certainly going to have to wear an N95 most, if not all, of the day. So it is a serious concern. That is part of why I'm asking... are there any good alternatives, like the vented ones.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Gareth
Date: May 29, 2020 04:36PM
[o2canada.com]

I have one of these on order (but expect it to take 5-6+ weeks...). It appears to have a more "respirator" like fit without looking as ridiculous as a respirator for daily wear. I find my half mask respirator much more comfortable to wear than other options. Obviously they can't say it's N95, but it appears to have equivalent filtration.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: norse
Date: May 29, 2020 05:38PM
The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is tiny, about 0.1 microns - roughly 4 millionths of an inch - in diameter. Aerosols produced by people when they breathe, talk and cough are generally between about 0.7 microns to around 10 microns – completely invisible to the naked eye and easily able to float in air. These particles are mostly biological fluids from people’s mouths and lungs and can contain bits of virus genetic material.

[theconversation.com]

Gareth's mask from Canada might work.

Airborne Pathogens < 0.50 Microns
95% Effective against airborne pathogens.

Notice: No mask is capable of protecting you 100% against any other dangerous substance or virus. In particular, the Coronavirus is a new virus that is not yet fully understood. We cannot and we expressly do not guarantee that our masks will protect you against the Coronavirus.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2020 05:42PM by norse.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Ca Bob
Date: May 30, 2020 03:53AM
Curious what you do that would require such frequent glove changes.

I'm used to wearing latex gloves to handle sterile cultures of mammalian cells. I'm in the habit of spraying my gloves with 70 percent isopropyl alcohol (drugstore grade) and rubbing my gloved hands together until they are dry -- doing this reasonably often, which is to say, whenever I've done something that could contaminate my gloves enough to contaminate the cells. There are other, stronger germ killers (Clidox) which we use when working on animals directly (you don't use the Clidox on the animal, but to sterilize the surface and the gloves).

When I started one project, I was required to go through some weird testing ritual where they gave me a hood that wasn't all that different from Saran Wrap, and it went down to my neck. I think they wanted to know if I could stand being in it, and they sprayed something at me as part of the testing. Having done scuba for a number of years, the procedure didn't bother me, and they never gave me an adequate explanation of the whole thing. It was all part of occupational safety -- your organization may very well have an occupational safety officer and they should supply you with proper ppe if they are following the rules, and assuming they can get it.
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 30, 2020 08:17AM
Quote
RAMd®d
I saw a guy walking around in Safeway with a vented mask, and I talked to the store manager about it. He was a little reluctant to act but a little prodding got him going. The the guy was escorted out.

That was mean and ignorant. You rushed to a flawed judgment.

Lots of vented masks have filters behind the vents. There's no way to tell without removing the mask and examining it.



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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: May 30, 2020 12:40PM
Quote
Ca Bob
Curious what you do that would require such frequent glove changes.

Just handling a LOT of different surfaces -- furniture, equipment, door handles, keys, etc. Wearing gloves (or even not wearing them), I'm very aware of everything I'm touching and therefore possibly transferring stuff to my hands and also between surfaces.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: May 31, 2020 01:13AM
Quote
PeterB
Quote
Ca Bob
Curious what you do that would require such frequent glove changes.

Just handling a LOT of different surfaces -- furniture, equipment, door handles, keys, etc. Wearing gloves (or even not wearing them), I'm very aware of everything I'm touching and therefore possibly transferring stuff to my hands and also between surfaces.

Why can't you sanitize the gloves?

That's what I do.

I've tried several different brands of nitrile gloves. With frequent applications of sanitizer, the thin ones last about 4-5 hours and the thick ones last all day.



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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: norse
Date: May 31, 2020 01:32AM
Quote
PeterB
Quote
Ca Bob
Curious what you do that would require such frequent glove changes.

Just handling a LOT of different surfaces -- furniture, equipment, door handles, keys, etc. Wearing gloves (or even not wearing them), I'm very aware of everything I'm touching and therefore possibly transferring stuff to my hands and also between surfaces.

Personally, I would not wear gloves...


[creakyjoints.org]

[health.clevelandclinic.org]

[wexnermedical.osu.edu]
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: Diana
Date: May 31, 2020 01:47AM
Ca Bob,

It sounds like you had to be fit tested for an N95 respirator. I have to do this every year. Health and Safety requirement.

Diana
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 01, 2020 08:57AM
If anyone is still reading this ... I obviously came to the conclusion at the time that wearing gloves/not wearing gloves wouldn't have made a whole lot of difference. As I said, if I had been wearing gloves, based on the number of different things I was touching, I would have had to change them probably every 2-3 minutes. If I hadn't been wearing gloves (which is what I ended up finally doing), then I would have had to spray/wash my hands that same amount, that is, every 2-3 minutes. Neither of those options was really feasible, I wouldn't have been able to get the work done.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Adventures in N95 masking
Posted by: norse
Date: June 01, 2020 12:02PM
There's no need to wash/sanitize your hands after touching each and every item. Too OCD. Just go on touching, moving, filing, etc. Just DON'T touch your face.

When you take a break, go wash your hands.
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